Women in Kim Jong-ils life banned from plotting succession

January 4th, 2009 - 5:46 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 4 (ANI): North Koreas reclusive leader Kim Jong-il has declared discussion of his succession off limits for three years, despite reports that the women in his life are plotting on behalf of their favourites, the Telegraph reported.

Despite his recent stroke and with his country stricken by food shortages and locked into a political battle with the West over its nuclear arsenal, analysts say Kim is reluctant to allow any of his three sons access to the levers of power.

He is said to be unimpressed with their political abilities. Kim has more confidence in his previously little-known daughter, who has recently emerged from the shadows and has his ear, but is ruled out by her sex in North Koreas chauvinistic society, the paper said.

Kims sister, who is close to him and whose husband is one of the most powerful men in the regime, is said to be supportive of the dictators oldest son, Jong-nam. One report in South Korean media suggests his personal assistant, widely believed to be his mistress, backs one of the other two.

But none of these women has dared to propose any of the three for power, and Kim himself is said to be resolved to prevent either them or anyone else from raising the subject until 2012, The Telegraph reported.

For now it would be political suicide to claim to have any influence over the succession, said Jung Chang-hyun, a South Korean academic who runs an experimental magazine in co-operation with North Korean state media.

Women seem to play a major role in the lives of many Asian dictators, and Kim Jong-il is no exception.

But in his case the relationships are complicated by the puritanical disapproval directed at his girlfriends by his father, the late Great Leader Kim Il-sung, on whose reputation his own rule depends.

Leaving aside his relationship with his current personal assistant, none of his three sons was born to his one formal wife, Kim Yong-suk, The Telegraph reported.

With Yong-suk he is believed to have had two daughters, one of whom, Kim Sul-seong, 34, is the most trusted legitimate confidante among Kims immediate family circle.

She is a deputy director in charge of personnel in the ruling Workers Party, but is unlikely to win the highest office: North Korea is not yet ready for a woman leader, according to one North Korean official. (ANI)

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