New York, Sept 3 (ANI): North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il is reportedly preparing to hold a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party to pave the way for his son to succeed him, a feat of political engineering that would be a first in the Communist world, extending dynastic rule to a third generation.
According to The New York Times, a meeting of the national congress will be preceded by the first ceremonial conclave of party's delegates in 30 years.
Kim Jong-un's propaganda machine is reminding North Koreans that their nation owes it existence to Kim's father, Kim Il-sung, who was a leader of anti-Japanese guerrillas in Manchuria in the early 20th century.
The meeting, like all political events in the North, will reportedly be held in secret. Even the precise starting date has not been publicly confirmed.
North Korea has only disclosed that the party's "highest leading body" will be elected at the meeting. Beyond that, every other information related to the meeting has been kept confidential.
Little is known about the son, believed to be in his late 20s, and no photos or public sightings of him have been reported since he attended a Swiss school as a teenager, the paper reports.
After his father's stroke in 2008, however, his grooming as heir has picked up speed.
Under Kim's military-oriented rule, the Workers' Party has withered. The last time the party held its congress was in 1980, during which Kim sealed his position as successor by assuming crucial party posts. Then, the party's Politburo had 34 members. Now it has only eight, as those who have died, have not been replaced.
"A new force will come in who will pave the way for the succession and support the young, inexperienced kid as leader. If a new generation of leaders comes in, this is not a bad thing.
They could be less bound by ideology and more pragmatic about opening up," said Chang Yong-seok, research director at the Institute for Peace Affairs in Seoul. (ANI)