In April, Kim Jong-il put to rest any doubt about whom he sees as his second in command when he elevated his brother-in-law Jang Song-taek to a powerful military post, analysts said.
Analysts said they see the energetic and urbane Jang, 63, as the real power broker after Kim who will groom the successor. Jang, who once fell out of Kim’s favor, has in recent year’s been Kim’s right hand man, they said.
[ from – ]
North Korea’s Kim moves to anoint youngest son as heir
By Jon Herskovitz, Reuters
51 minutes ago
SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has signaled the anointment of his youngest son as heir to the ruling family dynasty as the two Koreas bolstered their militaries along a disputed sea border on Tuesday.
The North was also readying to test-fire a mid-range missile, the South’s Yonhap news agency reported a lawmaker as saying after a defense briefing. The South Korean lawmaker, who was not identified, said the launch was being prepared from a base in the southeastern part of the country. He offered no further details.
North Korea has hundreds of mid-range missiles. They have an estimated range of 1,000 to 1,400 km (625 to 875 miles) and can hit all of South Korea and most of Japan.
South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo quoted a military source as saying the North had stepped up its military training, stockpiled ammunition and imposed a no-sail order off its west coast waters to prepare for a possible fight with the South.
In Seoul, the navy said it was deploying a guided-missile naval vessel to the same area in the Yellow Sea, close to the disputed border that has seen two deadly clashes between the rival states in the past 10 years.
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My Note –
I noticed earlier today there was a mention in the news about ships being sent to a disputed border area in the sea where North and South Korea are making a show of force. However, since the successor has now been named, who has really been deciding these recent moves in North Korea is probably been the generals or Jang Song-taek (brother-in-law to Kim Jong-il), as mentioned above in the Reuters article.
Doesn’t it seem that there is a proportionately large degree of stepped up activity in North Korea’s recent decisions focused on military rather than on possible technology sales from those nuclear and missile test? Usually it is hunger and need for resources that has driven these decisions, but now something is different. The time between their actions is closer together, as if someone is taking advantage of an opening in the decision making process or chain of command where there is opportunity. I don’t know what it is – but it is something and is different than previous periods of activities of this type.