Saturday, October 16, 2010

Kim Jong Il pulling closer to close relatives

Kim Jong-il is being seen more frequently in the company of his sister Kyong-hui (63) and brother-in-law Jang Song-taek (63), reinforcing that the Stalinist country's first family is pulling close.

Left: Kim Kyong-hui (circled) is seen accompanying her brother Kim Jong-il to a textile factory. Right: Her husband Jang Song-taek (circled) is seen accompanying his brother-in-law Kim Jong-il to a road construction site.

Baek Seung-joo, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, suggests, "Since he had a stroke, Kim Jong-il has appeared to believe that he can trust only his family." 

Kim Jong-il apparently believes that his family will stand behind his third son succeeding to the leadership of the country. Heir apparent Kim Jong-un, who is in his late-20s, is considered too young to take power and thus his succession could lead to a power struggle. 

The speculation is that Kim Jong-il is appearing more in public with his sister and her husband to prevent possible controversy over the authenticity of his wishes if he dies suddenly. A source said, "There would be no controversy over the authenticity of his last wishes if two members of his family claim they have heard them."

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