North Korea’s state news agency confirmed leader Kim Jong-il’s recent trip to China, heightening speculation that Kim is preparing to appoint his youngest son as heir. His latest trip came days ahead of a Workers party assembly, which some analysts think will be used to indicate that he wants his son Kim Jong-un to follow him as leader. The last such gathering took place in 1980, and was used to signal that Kim Jong-il had been chosen as successor, naming him to a senior position in the party. He took power when his father died 14 years later, in 1994. Media in North Korea and China did not mentioned Kim Jong-un in their reports, despite earlier rumours that he had accompanied his father to China.