Tokyo (AFP) June 16, 2009
A Japanese newspaper reported Tuesday that Kim Jong-Il's third son visited Beijing this month to tell the Chinese leadership that he had been anointed as the reclusive state's next leader.
The Asahi Shimbun said that Kim Jong-Un arrived for the secret visit by air around June 10 and met Chinese President Hu Jintao and other senior Chinese leaders, citing unnamed sources close to North Korean affairs.
During the visit, a North Korean aide told the Chinese side that Kim had unofficially been anointed to succeed his father, the newspaper said.
Little is known about Kim Jong-Un, 26, who was believed to have been schooled in Switzerland and was recently reported by South Korean intelligence officials to have been named as the eventual heir to the family dynasty.
During Kim's meetings with top Chinese officials, Hu urged North Korea not to conduct a third nuclear test or further missile launches, the report said.
Pyongyang's last nuclear test on May 25, followed by a series of missile launches, led the United Nations to tighten sanctions against North Korea.
China, considered the North's closest ally, supported the sanctions.
Nevertheless, Pyongyang is reported to be preparing for a third nuclear test and warned at the weekend that it would build more bombs and start a new weapons programme based on uranium enrichment.
Since Kim Jong-Il reportedly suffered a stroke last August, the North's policy has grown notably harder-line, with a long-range rocket launch in April followed by last month's second nuclear test.
Analysts say Kim is projecting an image of strength to bolster his authority as he prepares his son for an eventual takeover.
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N. Korea threatens nuclear escalation
Pyongyang, North Korea (UPI) Jun 15, 2009
North Korea has vowed to develop its nuclear program and build more nuclear bombs in response to a U.N. vote for tough new sanctions against it. The announcement, which was carried in the official news agency KCNA Saturday, said the communist regime would enrich uranium and use all its plutonium stocks for nuclear weapons. The threat follows a U.N. resolution to expand and tight ... read more
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