Kim Jong Il's Transfer of Power May Be Near
Big party gathering in the works; youngest son in line
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2010 11:36 AM CDT
A South Korean activist tears a portrait of Kim Jong Il, left, and what protesters say is his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)
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(Newser) – North Korea is planning a huge political summit amid rumors that Kim Jong Il will designate his youngest son as successor, Bloomberg reports. Soldiers and tanks have been dispatched to the capital for military parades, and Kim's Workers' Party of Korea has prepared pledges of loyalty for the summit, expected to begin tomorrow and run four days. The preparation reminds international observers of the 1980 gathering in which Kim's father bestowed power on him.

Also supporting the theory that Kim is about to designate Kim Jong Un as successor are his recent trips to China, including one last week. “The fact that Kim has visited China twice this year and so shortly before the meeting indicates that he has sought support for his upcoming decisions,” says a University of Vienna professor. Click here to read about what little is known of Kim's youngest son (including his favorite NBA player).