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Kim's son gets party job: reports

The youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has been given a post in the ruling communist party to prepare him for the succession, a South Korean lawmaker was Tuesday quoted as saying.

world Updated: Oct 06, 2009 07:38 IST

The youngest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has been given a post in the ruling communist party to prepare him for the succession, a South Korean lawmaker was Tuesday quoted as saying.

Kim Jong-Un is expected to take over some time between 2010 and 2012, legislator Yoon Sang-Hyun was quoted as saying by Yonhap news agency.

Yoon, citing information he received from Seoul government sources, said Jong-Un has been given a deputy director-level position in the party.

JoongAng Ilbo newspaper carried a similar report.

The 67-year-old Kim, who reportedly suffered a stroke in August last year, is widely believed to be grooming his third son Jong-Un as his successor.

But Tuesday's reports were the first to mention the party post or give a possible timeframe for the takeover. The secretive state has disclosed no information on Jong-Un or on any succession plan.

JoongAng said Yoon, who belongs to the ruling Grand National Party, got his information from a confidential Seoul government report.

This reportedly stated that the junior Kim was born in 1984 and graduated from Pyongyang's Kim Il-Sung National War College -- named after the North's founding president and father of Kim Jong-Il.

The college is the North's top military academy. Jong-Un did not attend it full-time but received one-on-one tutorials from professors and military officials, the report said.

Information is scanty about Jong-Un, who is the second son of Kim Jong-Il's third wife Ko Yong-Hee. No adult photo of him is publicly available.

Some reports say Jong-Un attended an international school in the Swiss city of Berne under a pseudonym.

Kenji Fujimoto, a former personal chef to Kim Jong-Il, has described Jong-Un as "a chip off the old block" who closely resembles his father physically and in terms of personality.

Seoul's National Intelligence Service has told members of parliament's intelligence committee that North Koreans have begun making pledges of loyalty to Jong-Un, the newspaper said.