October 08, 2010 21:54
A high-ranking North Korean official says Kim Jong-il's youngest son will succeed his father as leader of the communist nation.
Associated Press Television News says Yang Hyong-sop confirmed in an exclusive interview that Kim Jong-un is next in line to lead North Korea. Yang is vice president of North Korea's parliament, and a member of the political bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the country's ruling party.
APTN says Yang's comments are the first public confirmation that the 27-year-old Kim will eventually succeed his father. Kim Jong-un was named to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party at last week's party conference, and appointed vice chairman of the party's powerful central military commission. The 27-year-old Kim also received a commission as a four-star general.
Observers say his rapid rise to power suggests the 68-year-old Kim Jong-il is ailing after reportedly suffering a stroke in 2008.
Some information in this story was provided by AP.
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