Although, like the returning Hide and Seek champion from 1906, Fidel Castro has returned to the public eye, Kim Jong-il shuffles ever-closer to the status of immortal god along with his father. The Telegraph reports that, earlier this month French doctors examined Kim Jong-il for complications following a stroke in 2008.
His presumed successor is to be his youngest son, Kim Jong-eun with whom he has been seen attending factory inspections and other photo-shoots with increasing frequency. Since returning from studying a throat-condition of a language at university, Kim Jong-eun has shown himself a more earnest son than his older brother, Kim Jong-nam who wanted only to visit Disneyland.
Most sons buy their fathers after-shave to win their affection: Kim Jong-eun appears to have engineered an assassination attempt against Kim Jong-nam.
Most fathers kick a football at their sons to test their mettle: Kim Jong-il appears to have orchestrated the sinking of a RoK warship to allow Kim Jong-eun to manage a crisis, just as he exiled his own father’s favourite son, Kim Pyong-il to win daddy’s love.
Kim Jong-eun is altering the Book of Common Prayer to place his living father on equal standing with his ever-living grandfather in advance of the first Party conference in 30 years (in 1980, Kim Jong-il effectively was confirmed as successor for Kim Song-il). For his part, Kim Jong-il has appointed Chang Sung-taek as Grand Vizier Vice-Chairman of the National Defence Commission to guide his son.
Chang had previously faced down stiff opposition from Kim Jong-il and Kim Song-il to marry their sister/daughter, Kim Hyong-hui. His new appointment doubtless came as a pleasant surprise as it had been ear-marked for Ri Je-gang, who accidentially, tragically died in a car accident.
It must be getting dangerous to look over a baby’s cot in the Kim household.