N.Korean Daily Hints at Successor to Kim Jong-il

      August 24, 2010 09:07

      North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun daily last Sunday ran a long poem hinting at the succession to the Stalinist country's leadership by Kim Jong-il's son Jong-un.

      The poem hails and praises the "Songun or military-first doctrine ahead of its 50th anniversary on Aug. 25 and reads in part, "We hear the sound of those vigorous footsteps that have perfectly inherited the mettle and vigor of our general."

      "Footsteps" is also the title of a propaganda song apparently written to praise Kim junior which party officials have been teaching farmers since last year. The phrase "perfectly inherited Kim Jong-il's mettle" appears to justify a third-generation dynastic succession.

      "Let's follow our party center step by step and defend the party center with our lives forever and ever!" the song continues. "Party center" is apparently code for the succession.

      In 1974, the regime began calling Kim Jong-il "party center" when the Workers Party's Central Committee appointed him as successor to his father Kim Il-sung.

      A South Korean government official said, "The term 'party center' eventually disappeared after Kim Jong-il became the official successor, but it has come back into use recently."

      It now seems highly likely that Kim junior, who is in his 20s, will assume a key party post at an upcoming extraordinary party congress that will be held for the first time in 44 years, North Korea experts speculate.

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