09/23/2010, 00.00
NORTH KOREA
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Pyongyang changing leaders as it waits for the “third Kim”

by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Top government leaders are changing ahead of the next party meeting, which should mark the rise of Kim Jong-ju. Kang-sok-ju, father of North Korea’s A-bomb, is appointed to the post of deputy prime minister.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – Major changes are in store for the world’s last Stalinist outpost. Whilst North Korea's ruling party waits to meet to pick a successor to ‘dear leader’ Kim Jong-il, most likely his third son Kim Jong-un, other top posts are being filled by new faces, Xinhua reported, citing North Korea’s KCNA news agency . Kang Sok-Ju, the father of North Korea A-bomb, was appointed to the post of deputy premier.

The regime’s point man on the nuclear issue is a close aide to supreme leader Kim Jong-il. Kim Kye-gwan, a diplomat involved in international nuclear talks, has taken his former place.

These appointments are a sign that the regime is favouring people involved in North Korea’s nuclear programme, which has become a threat to the entire region.

According to some sources, the appointments involve people closely associated with the current leader, who fear that the latter’s heir apparent might act impatiently and try to replace his father.

In the meantime, the government is silent on the country’s dreadful situation, faced with floods and economic crisis. Based on limited data available, the South Korean Red Cross has warned that the situation is desperate for millions of people who on the edge of hunger whlst nothing can be done to help them.

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