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Caretaker leadership likely to lead N. Korea before son fully takes over: NIS

All Headlines 09:48 December 21, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- A caretaker leadership led by a Workers' Party commission under the control of the chosen son of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il is expected to handle pressing issues in the communist nation until the successor takes full control, South Korea's main spy agency has forecast.

The National Intelligence Service made the forecast in a report to parliament Tuesday, saying Pyongyang is expected to focus on a smooth power transition to Kim's youngest son, Kim Jong-un, according to participants.

The late Kim had been grooming his third son as his successor before his abrupt death on Saturday. Pyongyang unveiled the son to the outside world last year by promoting him to the rank of a four-star general and placing him in key posts.

One of the younger Kim's titles is vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party, a powerful organ that oversees North Korea's massive armed forces and military policies.

After Kim's death, the North's military immediately vowed allegiance to the son.

Should Kim Jong-un take leadership of the North, it would mark the communist country's second hereditary transfer of power, as the recently deceased Kim also took the leadership role after his father and national founder Kim Il-sung died in 1994.
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