North Korea reportedly names successor to leader Kim Jong-il

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

South Korean media is reporting that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-il has named his successor, after ordering his people to pledge their alliance to his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, age 25.

Yonhap News Agency reports that the decision was made after North Korea's recent test of a nuclear bomb on May 25. The New York Times reports that select unnamed embassies overseas received the news to pledge their support for their decision, but that there has been no official confirmation of the decision.

The South Korean presidential office refused to confirm, or deny that any change to North Korean leadership was imminent saying, "nothing has been confirmed." If true, the news also comes just nine months after media reported that Jong-il had a "serious stroke."

Little is known about Kim Jong-un. His name had only surfaced in 2003 when mentioned in memoirs written by a former chief of the Japanese military. Prior to that time, reports said that Jong-il had only two sons, Kim Jong-chul and Kim Jong-nam.