Kim Jong Un "to share power with military and uncle": report


A man watches a TV showing a close-up of Kim Jong Un, in Seoul, South Korea, September 30, 2010.


Jung Yeon-Je

Kim Jong Un, North Korea's new young leader, will share power with uncle Jang Song-thaek and the military, according to a Reuters report.

Kim Jong Un, said to be in his late 20s, is the son and successor of Kim Jong Il, who died Saturday.

Jang Song-thaek, 65, is the brother-in-law of Kim Jong Il and is described as a charismatic man with powerful political and military connections. In 2009 he was appointed to the National Defense Commission of North Korea, the supreme leadership council that Kim Jong Il led.

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Reuters, citing a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing, said North Korea's military has given its backing to Kim Jong Un.

Reuters reported:

"It's very unlikely," the source said when asked about the possibility of a military coup. "The military has pledged allegiance to Kim Jong Un."

The Hankyoreh, a left-wing South Korean newspaper, said Jang is "understood to have effectively directed the building of the succession framework for Kim Jong Un and the transmission of power under the authorization of Kim Jong Il" after the late leader fell ill in 2008.

The Hankyoreh reported:

Analysts said [Jang Song-thaek] is arguably the strongest support in the regime for the younger Kim, who suffers from a weak power base with less than three years of grooming for the North Korean leadership.

GlobalPost reported on Jang's rise to the National Defense Commission in 2009, noting that "with this move analysts believe Jang is now in the position to hold a firm grip over military and political circles, becoming the country's No. 2 man."

Jang is said to have strong influence in all key areas of North Korea's leadership, including the Workers' Party of Korea, the military and national security agencies.

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