Extra! Korea

March 22, 2010

Will Kim Jong-il’s son be formally introduced at N. Korean Parliament?

Filed under: Kim Jong-il, North Korea — extrakorea @ 2:05 pm

Will Kim Jong-il’s third son and rumored heir Jong-un be formally introduced at the Supreme People’s Assembly in Pyongyang on April 9? Some think so:

But since the botched currency reform last year, the regime appears impatient about the succession, Prof. Kim Yong-hyun of Dongguk University said.

“If its efforts so far have been tentative, but now they’re getting more systematic,” he said. “So it’s possible that the SPA will appoint Kim to a junior post in the Defense Commission.”

Chung Young-tae, the director of the Korea Institute for National Unification’s Center for North Korean Studies, said, “If Kim junior makes a formal appearance, it will be because he has become a member of the Defense Commission.” He predicted that any successful attempts to manage the fallout of the currency reform will then be touted as the achievement of Kim junior.

But others don’t:

But Prof. Yang Moo-jin of Kyungnam University suggested the North will continue to handle the succession discreetly. “If the North brings the succession issue into the limelight in the current circumstances, it will only aggravate confusion, persuading people that Kim senior’s health is really bad. I don’t think Kim Jong-il will appoint his son to the Defense Commission.”

And here is another bit of information that may be forthcoming at the assembly:

One interesting question is whether Pak Nam-gi, the ousted director of the Workers’ Party’s Planning and Finance Department, will attend, quelling rumors that he was executed by firing squad to take the fall for the currency debacle.

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