Seoul (South Korea), Sep 28(ANI): North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's youngest son, Kim Jong-un, has been promoted as a military general, the clearest sign yet that he is in line to succeed his father as the country's leader.
The appointment came hours after delegates of the ruling Workers' Party arrived in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Monday.
Jong-il's sister, Kyong-hui, has also been named a general. She is married to Chang Song-taek, seen by some analysts as North Korea's second-most powerful leader.
Andrei Lankov, a North Korean expert at Kookmin University in Seoul, said that speculation was clearly starting to build around the meeting.
"I think he (Jong-un) is chosen exactly because he is young. He will be a dictator, but merely a rubber-stamping dictator. This is what the people in the positions of power want," The New York Times quoted Lankov, as saying.
The succession is being closely watched because of North Korea's nuclear programme and hostility with South Korea.
Little is known about Jong-un, and most of what is has been culled from defectors and websites that collect information from sources in the North.
In North Korean news media he has been referred to as the "Young General," "Youth Captain Kim" and even "C.N.C.," short for computer numerical control, to demonstrate his bona fides as a leader for the 21st century.
He is said to have attended boarding or military school in Switzerland and spent several years in the military.
North Korean leader Jong-il is reportedly suffering from several illnesses, and is believed to have had a stroke two years ago. He has also travelled to China for treatment. (ANI)