Friday, March 18, 2011

Further promotion coming for Kim Jong Un?

North Korea will convene its parliament early next month in a session closely watched for further signs that leader Kim Jong Il is handing over power to his youngest son to succeed him as leader of the nation of 24 million people.

Kim Jong Un, who is in his late 20s, was unveiled to the public last year when he was made a four-star general and promoted to a key military leadership role in the ruling Workers' Party.

North Korea's parliament typically meets a few times a year to discuss and approve the year's budget. However, sessions also are scrutinized by the outside world for signs of key changes in policy and leadership. The 12th Supreme People's Assembly will meet in Pyongyang on April 7, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday in a brief report monitored in Seoul. 

The next major step in the succession campaign would be a promotion for Kim Jong Un to the powerful National Defense Commission, where Kim Jong Il serves as chairman, analysts said.

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