Friday, January 16, 2009

Sushi chef had it right on Kim Jong Il succession

Until recently, North Korea's Kim Jong Il - reclusive, eccentric and mercurial - has revealed little about who might succeed him as leader. Kim has had at least four children with three women, but none has emerged as the obvious candidate to take the world's first communist hereditary dynasty into a third generation.

The eldest son, 37-year-old Jong Nam, was long considered Kim's favorite - until he tried to sneak into Japan using a fake Dominican passport in a bid to get to Tokyo's Disney resort in 2001.

His second son, 27-year-old Jong Chol, is believed to have spent part of his school years in Switzerland. He reportedly was appointed to a high position in the Korean Workers' Party last year, making him a likely candidate.

But Kenji Fujimoto, who says he was private sushi chef to Kim for 13 years, always claimed the "Dear Leader" believed the second son is too soft and instead favored his youngest son, Jong Un, 24, who apparently looks and acts just like his father.


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