Kim using gifts to win support

2009-06-24 22:22

Seoul - North Korean leader Kim Jong Il doled out foreign-made cars to senior intelligence officials to ensure their loyalty to his youngest son when he put the 26-year-old in charge of the country's powerful spy agency, a report said on Wednesday.

The appointment is part of Kim's plan to anoint the son, Kim Jong Un, as North Korea's future leader, South Korea's Dong-a Ilbo newspaper said, citing an unidentified source. The son is also overseeing the handling of two US journalists detained in March while on a reporting trip to the Chinese-North Korea border, the report said.

Who will take over as ruler of the nuclear-armed North has been the focus of intense media speculation since the 67-year-old Kim reportedly suffered a stroke last August.

Kim, who has three sons, has controlled the reclusive, impoverished nation of 24 million with absolute authority, sparking concerns about instability and a power struggle if he were to die without naming a successor.

Seoul's spy agency reported to lawmakers early this month that Pyongyang notified its diplomatic missions and government agencies overseas that Jong Un would be tapped as the next leader.

Seoul's JoongAng Ilbo newspaper has reported that he was given the title of "Brilliant Comrade", another sign that the regime was preparing to name him as successor.

Jong Un was serving as acting chair of the National Defence Commission, the country's highest post, one currently held by his father, Japan's Mainichi newspaper reported last weekend.

Wednesday's Dong-a Ilbo report said Kim ordered senior officials at the State Security Department in March to "uphold" Jong Un as head of the agency. Kim told the officials to "safeguard comrade Kim Jong Un with [your] lives as you did for me in the past," the mass-market daily said.

Five luxury cars, each worth about $80 000, were given as gifts to the officials, it said. The paper did not say which cars were given. However, Kim has long been known to favour Mercedes Benz cars and French wine as gifts to ensure his inner circle's loyalty.

South Korea's main spy agency, the National Intelligence Service, said it could not confirm the report.

- AP

Read more on:    kim jong un  |  north korea  |  kim jong-il

Read News24’s Comments Policy


Inside News24


Kasrils enemy of the people - MKMVA

Former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils is an "enemy of the people" with his "No Vote" campaign, the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association says.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2395.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.