North Korea to elect leaders amid succession campaign

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said Saturday it will elect new party leaders at a rare meeting in September in what analysts say could be a move to strengthen a campaign to hand over power from supreme leader Kim Jong Il to his youngest son.
Kim, who suffered an apparent stroke in 2008, is believed to be grooming his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, to succeed him as leader of the nuclear-armed communist nation of 24 million. His health has raised regional concerns about instability and a possible power struggle if he were to die without naming a successor.
North Korea's ruling Workers' Party will convene its conference in early September to elect "its highest leading body," the country's official Korean Central News Agency reported. The report did not elaborate.