N. Korean leader, son visited artillery base just before S. Korean island was hit

Yeonpyeong Island (S. Korea), Nov.26 (ANI): North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his son and successor Kim Jong Un reportedly visited an artillery base from where shells were fired at a South Korean island just hours before the attack.

Fox News quoted South Korean media reports, as saying the father and son had met General Kim Kyok-sik, the commander of the frontline fourth corps in charge of a Navy base in South Hwanghae province, just before the North shelled the island.

North Korea's attack on Yeonpyeong Island that killed two South Korean marines and two civilians on Tuesday. The Joongang Daily quoted a well-informed government source as saying that it was probably ordered by Kim Jong Il himself.

A National Assembly Defense Committee member said military intelligence obtained the information and was trying to figure out whether the visit was directly related to the attack, the Chosun Ilbo reported.

The United States says it believes North Korea's actions were an isolated act tied to leadership changes in Pyongyang, and many experts say the North carried out the shelling to burnish the image of the inexperienced and little-known younger Kim.

The ailing leader is desperate to give a lift to his youngest son, named as heir apparent to the family dynasty in September, but who has little clear support in the military. (ANI)

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