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Kim Jong Il Election Likely Steppingstone

World IN BRIEF / NORTH KOREA

July 27, 1998|From Times Wire Reports

In a likely prelude to leader Kim Jong Il's rise to the president's office, North Koreans elected him and hundreds of others to the country's parliament. Less than an hour after voting ended, the country's official news agency announced Kim's election. Since the 1994 death of his father, Kim Il Sung, the 56-year-old son has been running the Communist country as supreme military commander and head of the ruling Workers' Party. But he has yet to assume full formal power by taking over the presidency. Kim Jong Il's assumption of the presidency will complete the first hereditary power succession in a Communist nation. His father ruled North Korea with an iron fist for nearly half a century.

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