Brother-in-Law Pilots N. Korea for Ailing Kim

Head of secret police fills in as dictator heals from stroke: analysts
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 2:47 PM CST
Some analysts suspect this photo of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, front row center, wearing glasses, posing with officers and soldiers has been doctored.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Kim Jong-Il’s brother-in-law is running North Korea as the dictator recovers from a stroke, experts tell the Times of London. South Korean analysts say that while Kim is conscious and probably mobile, he remains weak. But Pyongyang appears to be functioning normally in the hands of Chang Sung Taek, 62, the head of the country’s secret police.

Chang, who was purged from the government and exiled in 2004, returned in 2006 to head the Korean Workers’ Party “administrative department.” “He will keep Kim’s policy line even if he dies,” said one observer, noting that Chang has fewer enemies than other senior operatives because when Chang “purges people, they are not just sent away from Pyongyang, they are killed.”