Japanese newspaper publishes rare photo of Kim Jong-il's successor

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London, Apr 20(ANI): A Japanese newspaper has published a rare photograph of a man, identified as Kim Jong-un, the youngest son and likely successor to North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

The Mainichi newspaper printed a photo of the round-faced man accompanying Jong-il on a visit to a steel mill in North Hamgyong Province in March.

Jong-un is being groomed to take over from his father, whom some experts believe to be suffering from the after-effects of a stroke that has been worsened by long-standing diabetes as well as kidney and heart disease, The Telegraph reports.

Certain sections of the Korean media had earlier suggested that Jong-il was grooming his son Kim Jong-chul, but defectors and Western media have suggested the possibility of Jong-un, who is described to be "just like his father".

Like his father and grandfather, he has also been given an official sobriquet, The Brilliant Comrade.

Jong-il is reportedly expected to officially designate Jong-un as his successor in 2012. (ANI)

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