September 27, 2010 11:11
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent Jong-un has been elected as a delegate to an extraordinary congress of the Workers Party slated for Tuesday, it emerged on Sunday.
A North Korean source said the North Korean Army elected both Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un as delegates to the party congress on Aug. 25. Only Kim Jong-il's election has been made public, "but many senior officers are aware of Kim Jong-un's election as well," the source added.
Delegates in the North do not represent the entire party but regional and functional party committees. Kim senior was elected as a delegate representing the military committee and the North and South Pyongan provincial committees.
Ryu Dong-ryeol, a senior researcher at the Police Science Institute, said, "It's natural for a successor in the North, which puts priority on the 'Songun' or military-first policy, to be elected as a delegate of the military party committee. Kim Jong-un will highly likely attend the party congress in that capacity and be elected as a member of the Workers Party Central Committee."
When it announced the party congress, the North said the congress aims to "elect new members of the top party apparatus." Under party rules, that is the Central Committee, which organizes and supervises all party projects. If he is to make a public appearance, Kim junior must first be elected to the Central Committee. His father was established as the successor after he was elected as a member of the Central Committee in 1972 and became a member of the Politburo in 1974.
The source said after the military chose Kim Jong-un as its delegate to the party congress, the Central Committee declared him "the only successor to leader Kim Jong-il."
Since it announced the party congress, the North has carried out increasing propaganda activities for Kim junior. Growing numbers of people now say they have seen the elusive man during Kim senior's on-the-spot guidance tours. "It seems that Kim Jong-un makes formal visits to the Ministry of People's Armed Forces and the State Security Department, where he receives briefings from Minister Kim Yong-chun and deputy chief of the department U Dong-chuk, respectively," the source added.
Meanwhile, the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Sunday reported delegates from regional party committees arrived in Pyongyang and were welcomed by the preparatory committee for the party congress.
A Unification Ministry official said that is "a decisive signal" that the congress is going ahead.
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