September 14, 2010 09:10
The National Intelligence Service told a National Assembly committee on Monday that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was "most likely" accompanied by his son and heir apparent Jong-un on his visit to China late last month, and was apparently very successful in winning Chinese approval of the succession.
Participants in the nominally closed-door door session of the Intelligence Committee quoted NIS Director Won Sei-hoon as saying the NIS "presumes" that he was accompanied by Kim Jong-un given that Kim Jong-il made a kind of pilgrimage of places related to his own father Kim Il-sung's activities in China.
He said the apparent purpose of the trip was to seek help with a food shortage and establish his son as his successor. But the NIS believes that while he did not win a promise of much food aid, he was successful in getting Chinese approval of his heir.
Won said it is "possible" that Kim junior met Chinese President Hu Jintao but unlikely that a planned extraordinary congress of the North Korean Workers Party is being delayed due to Jim senior's ill health.
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