North Korea holds historic political meeting

North Korea holds historic political meeting

North Korea said its biggest political gathering in 30 years was under way today and crucial developments were expected, hours after leader Kim Jong Il appointed his youngest son as a military general in what was seen as part of a succession plan.

State TV said in a broadcast monitored in Seoul, South Korea, that the elder Kim was reappointed as general secretary of the Workers’ Party at the delayed political gathering.

Kim had been expected to appoint his youngest son, Kim Jong Un, to key positions to groom him as his heir to power.

Delegates to the convention were meeting in Pyongyang to elect the party’s top leadership, hours after state media announced that Kim Jong Un was promoted to army general.

It was state media’s first official mention of the young man many believe will succeed his father as North Korea’s next leader.

Later, state TV said Kim was reappointed as the party’s general secretary, proof of the people’s “expression of absolute support and trust” in him, a TV announcer said.

She said a “crucial” development was under way but gave no further details.

Kim Jong Il himself took over leadership in 1994 when his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, died of heart failure in what was communism’s first hereditary succession.

The question of who will take over from the authoritarian leader is important to regional security because of North Korea’s active nuclear and missile programs and concerns of chaos in the case of upheaval in the impoverished country.

Very little is known about Kim Jong Un, believed to be 28 and schooled for several years under a pseudonym in Switzerland.

More on this topic

Kim Jong Un vows to build ‘invincible army’ and oversees another military drillKim Jong Un vows to build ‘invincible army’ and oversees another military drill

North Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ for insulting its dignityNorth Korea calls Joe Biden a ‘rabid dog’ for insulting its dignity

Kim Jong Un orders South Korean hotels destroyed at resortKim Jong Un orders South Korean hotels destroyed at resort

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vows to fight US sanctionsNorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un vows to fight US sanctions

More in this Section

Humans fooled by hyper-realistic masks in fifth of cases – studyHumans fooled by hyper-realistic masks in fifth of cases – study

Music industry workers ‘twice as likely to develop tinnitus’Music industry workers ‘twice as likely to develop tinnitus’

Inducing pregnant women at 41 weeks is safer than waiting, trial suggestsInducing pregnant women at 41 weeks is safer than waiting, trial suggests

Trump directed Ukraine quid pro quo, says key impeachment witnessTrump directed Ukraine quid pro quo, says key impeachment witness


Lifestyle

It won’t come as news to mothers-to-be that they are not eating for two, as the old saying goes, but the number of extra calories needed may come as a surprise. And it’s much fewer than you might think.Eating for two: It's quality not quantity of food that matters during pregnancy

No. It is such a small word, yet at times, something many of us find difficult to utter. The inability to say no to work, friends or family can cause so much stress in our lived lives.Learning Points: Just say no, there’s power in that little word

Fiona Kelleher has set some of the works of Múscraí poets Seán Ó Riordáin and Séamus Ó Céilleachair to music, writes Pet O'ConnellPoetry and music combine in reimagining of works of Seán Ó Riordáin and Séamus Ó Céilleachair

I fear I might be getting to that stage with my daughter Joan, who is 8, whereby I am the needy one! I fear I might be getting to that stage with my daughter Joan, who is 8, whereby I am the needy one!Mum's the word: I’m the needy one... I get the kiss off from my own daughter!

More From The Irish Examiner