Tuesday, September 14, 2010

North Korea: Meet the new boss - same as the old boss?

North Korea's ruling party could start a rare conference called to pick new leadership as early as Wednesday, Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported, citing a source close to the issue.

Representatives from different areas of the country had gathered in Pyongyang as of Monday and a delay to the start of the conference could have been due to flooding in August, Yomiuri quoted the source as saying.

The source denied reports that the North's ruling party had delayed the conference due to leader Kim Jong-il's health, Yomiuri said.

The Workers' Party (WPK) conference, bringing together the secretive state's ruling elite for the first time in 30 years, was called to pick new leadership and likely anoint an heir -- Kim's youngest son -- to the dynasty as Kim's health deteriorates. The meeting had been due to start anytime between Sept. 1-15. (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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