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NK Leader`s Son Becomes No. 2 Man in P`yang

Posted October. 01, 2010 11:57,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il`s youngest son was appointed Tuesday vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers` Party and to the party`s Central Committee.

In the party`s third convention in Pyongyang Tuesday, the commission saw the emergence of the junior Kim as the undisputed No. 2 man in the communist country. The North’s official Korean Central News Agency announced this through 14 news reports beginning from 4 a.m. Wednesday.

The commission is an organization through which the party, as the North`s supreme decision-making body, controls the military. North Korean leader Kim doubles as the commission’s chairman. Pyongyang’s insertion of the vice chairman post at the commission and giving the title to Kim Jong Un is seen as a step toward the establishment of a mechanism for a power succession through which the Kim Jong Il government seeks to control the military by restoring the party.

Ri Yong Ho, who was promoted to vice marshal of the (North) Korean People’s Army Monday, was also named vice chairman of the commission in emerging as the most powerful military man in the Kim Jong Un era. Three of the commission`s six members remained and 16 others were newly named, bringing the number of commission members to 19.

Five were elected new executive members of the party’s politburo: Kim Jong Il; Kim Yong Nam, the head of the Supreme People`s Assembly; Choe Yong Rim, chief Cabinet minister; Jo Myong Rok, first vice chairman of the commission; and Ri, the chief of general staff of the Korean People’s Army.

Seventeen politburo members and 15 candidates were also elected. Kim Kyoung Hui, Kim Jong Il’s younger sister and chief of the party’s light industry affairs division, became a politburo member. Her husband Jang Sung Taek, vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, became a candidate of the politburo and a member of the Central Military Commission.

The four-member secretarial bureau of the party’s Central Committee only saw Kim Ki Nam (propaganda) and Choe Thae Bok (education) reappointed. Eight members were newly named including Choe Ryong Hae, the party’s chief secretary for North Hwanghae Province.

Of the party`s 14 divisional chiefs, 11 retained their posts while three new ones were appointed, including Kim Ki Nam (propaganda division), Kim Pyong Hae (senior staff division) and Chu Kyu Chang (machinery industry division).

The convention also made a revision to the party constitution for the first time in 30 years by deleting “the construction of communism” from the "party’s ultimate goal" clause. The North had deleted the term “communism” in a constitutional amendment in April last year.

North Korean media also said Kim Jong Il attended the party convention Tuesday, but failed to mention whether his youngest son was present. At the event, 124 members and 105 candidates for the Central Committee were appointed before the one-day event closed.

will71@donga.com kyle@donga.com