General

The second-most powerful man in North Korea

Jang Song Taek will ease the transition from Kim Jong II to his son

North Korean leader Kim Jong II is believed to have appointed career politician Jang Song Taek as his son’s mentor, effectively making Jang the second-most powerful man in North Korea. Jang is expected to oversee the younger Jong’s rule. The career politician is one of Kim Jong Il’s closest advisors. Last year Jang, 64, joined the National Defense Commission, and this year he became its vice chairman. Analysts believe the appointment is due to the long-time North Korean dictator’s rapidly failing health. Kim Jong’s son, believed to be anywhere from 25 to 28 years old, is considered unpredictable and unprepared for rule. American officials fear he is even more hawkish than his father and grandfather before him.

Washington Post

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