Wed, Oct 13, 2010 - Page 5 News List

Kim Jong-il’s eldest son says he opposes family power shift

AFP, TOKYO

The eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il said he opposes the hereditary transfer of power to his brother in the communist state, in an interview with Japan’s TV Asahi broadcast yesterday.

“Personally I am opposed to the hereditary transfer to a third generation of the family,” Kim Jong-nam said, speaking in Korean with the Asahi TV Network in an interview conducted in Beijing on Saturday.

Kim Jong-nam, who lives in Macau, added that “for my part, I am prepared to help my younger brother whenever necessary while I stay abroad.”

He also said there may have been “certain internal reasons” for the planned power shift from father to son, and that if this was the case, “I think we have to abide by it.”

North Korea’s ailing leader Kim Jong-il — who himself took power from his father, Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994 — has in recent weeks designated his youngest son Kim Jong-un as the heir-apparent.

Kim Jong-un, believed to be aged about 27, was made a four-star general and given key party posts late last month, when his official photo was also published for the first time.

Kim Jong-nam also told TV Asahi about the Pyongyang succession plans: “As a matter of course, I think it was my father who made the decision. As I have had no interest in the matter, I don’t care at all.”

He added that “I hope my younger brother will do his best to make the lives of the North Korean people affluent.”

“For my part, I am prepared to help my younger brother whenever necessary while I stay abroad,” he said.

Secretive North Korea put its leader-in-waiting on show on Sunday at a huge military parade, one of the largest for years in the hard-line communist state, which was aired live by state TV and foreign broadcasters.

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