Kim Jong-un 'Acting as Proxy for Kim Jong-il'

North Korean heir apparent Kim Jong-un works as acting chairman of the National Defense Commission to support his ailing father Kim Jong-il, the Mainichi Shimbun said Saturday.

Quoting sources close to the North Korean regime, the Japanese daily said the leader's youngest son (26) is assisting his father although the position is not an official title.

The paper quoted an official close to the North Korean leadership as saying this means Kim junior would immediately assume the commission chairmanship, effectively the most powerful post in the land, if Kim dies, although he has a position neither in the Workers Party nor at the Ministry of People's Armed Forces.

Early this year, the General Political Department of the People's Army distributed an internal document saying Kim junior had been chosen as the heir apparent. The Ministry of People's Armed Forces and the Ministry of Public Security then led the efforts to establish the succession, and a new term "under the system of Kim Jong-un's leadership" is currently in use, the daily added.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jun. 22, 2009 07:44 KST