Kim Jong-Il reshuffles top leadership to make way for youngest son at the top

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London, Jun 7 (ANI): To consolidate grip on power and pave the way for the succession of youngest son Kim Jong-Un, North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-Il has reshuffled the regime's top leadership, appointing a new premier and promoting a key ally to a senior post in the country's top military body.

The appointment was rubber stamped by the country's parliament and is seen as a move to make way for 28-year-old Kim Jong-Un to succeed.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency said Jang Song Taek, a brother-in-law and key ally of Kim who is believed to favour a hereditary succession, was promoted to vice-chairmanship of the National Defence Commission, the most powerful organ of government in North Korea, The Telegraph reports.

Analysts said the appointment could be interpreted as a signal of Kim's determination that he will be succeeded by his son and not by any rivals from the military establishment.

"Jang Song Taek would be the most trustworthy person to Kim who can establish the foundation for succession to Jong-un. This is a signal that they will not be moving on existing power structures, no innovation or openness or reform," said Park Young-ho of the Korea Institute for National Analysis.

Other analysts said that Jang, who is expected to act as regent to an inexperienced Kim Jong-Un when Kim finally dies, said the appointment effectively made Jang the "number two," The Telegraph reports.

"Jang's dramatic rise to power, backed by Kim Jong-Il, shows that North Korea is formalising and finalising its planned father-to-son power transfer," added Paik Haksoon of Seoul's Sejong Institute think-tank.

In the second appointment, Choe Yong Rim, a senior Communist party official, was been named North Korea's premier, a post that makes him responsible for economic policy at a time when the country's bankrupt economy is reeling under UN sanctions, the paper said. (ANI)

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