It is North Korea’s biggest political meeting in 30 years, and the nation’s leaders have gathered in Pyongyang for what many are speculating may be preparations for the handover of dynastic rule to Kim Jong-Un, 27 years old, and Kim Jong-il’s youngest son.
The capital is also being prepared for what is being billed as the biggest military parade in the country’s history. At least 10,000 troops have been drilling since July at a nearby airbase.
It is also the first time all the representatives of the Worker’s Party have gathered since 1966 to elect the “supreme leadership body”. Then Kim Il-Sung, who died in 1994, led the country, and his son Kim Jong-Il was gradually eased into the party’s top echelon, becoming the publicly-declared heir in 1980.
However Kim Jong-Un may be fast-tracked into the Central committee or even the Presidium, as his father, 68, had a stroke two years ago and reportedly suffers from kidney problems.