Thursday, January 15, 2009

North Korea leader picks 3rd son as heir: media

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, thought to be recovering from serious illness, has picked his third and youngest known son to succeed him, a South Korean news report said on Thursday.

The demise of the 66-year-old Kim without a clear successor could likely add to the uncertainty of a country trying to develop nuclear weapons but with an economy in ruins and a population constantly on the edge of famine.

The question of succession in the secretive communist state is so closely guarded that no-one outside Kim's immediate circle of family and confidants is thought to have any clear knowledge of the situation.

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