North Korea has officially begun a succession process from leader Kim Jong-Il to his youngest son, South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak said on Monday.
"It seems quite clear that North Korea has officially entered the third generation of Kim rule," he told foreign correspondents.
The North Sunday staged a massive military parade attended by Kim and youngest son Jong-Un, who late last month was given key promotions to solidify his status as heir apparent.
Lee said the South is watching the succession process "very closely".
The South's defence and unification ministers said last week the succession process seems to have started, but Lee had not previously commented directly on the issue.
Kim Jong-Il took over from his own father Kim Il-Sung, who died in 1994.