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N. Korean heir apparent cements status: S. Korea

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, September 26, 2011 7:23 EDT
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The son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has cemented his status as leader-in-waiting through frequent field trips with his ailing father, the South’s unification ministry said Monday.

Kim Jong-Un has accompanied his father 100 times, or on two-thirds, of his trademark “field guidance” trips, since he was confirmed as leader-in-waiting a year ago, the ministry said in a report.

Jong-Un, believed to be in his late 20s, was made a general and given senior communist party posts on September 28 last year.

Since then all of the son’s public appearances have been alongside his father, the ministry said.

The 69-year-old leader, who took over after his own father and founding president Kim Il-Sung died in 1994, has apparently speeded up plans for a second eventual dynastic succession since suffering a stroke in August 2008.

It remains unclear when the son will be formally named as successor but the ministry said the son was already actively involved in state affairs.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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