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Kim's heir to head disruptive campaign against G20 in Seoul

THE man expected to take over as North Korea's leader is in charge of plans for demonstrations to disrupt a summit of world leaders in Seoul.

This is according to a defector's report published in the South.

In a sign of his rising influence, Jong-un, the third and youngest son of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il, is said to have chaired a meeting of the powerful National Defence Commission to discuss the campaign.

It is likely to include a call for extreme left-wing groups sympathetic to North Korea to join violent protests against the G20 summit in the South Korean capital in November.

Pic: Danger

Police are preparing a huge security operation to protect the meeting, and South Korea's military forces, plus 27,000 US troops, will be on high alert for any North Korean provocations, such as the sinking of a naval frigate earlier this year.

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North Korea's long record of sabotage, infiltration and assassination has made the intelligence services in the South wary of surprise attacks. They believe North Korea's actions are linked to its internal power struggles.

The government in Seoul is still unsure whether a key meeting of North Korea's ruling party, at which Jong-un is expected to be introduced as the heir of the 69-year-old leader, will go ahead as scheduled this week.

Such is the secrecy of the North Korean regime, however, that even the year and date of Jong-un's birth are disputed.

It is generally agreed that he is aged between 27 and 29, and that his mother, who died of breast cancer in 2004, was Kim's third wife, the dancer Koh Yong-hee.

Jong-un was educated at a private international school in Bern and later attended the Liebefeld-Steinhoelzi school in a quiet suburb of the Swiss capital. He was watched over by Ri Choi, for 30 years the North Korean ambassador to Switzerland, and guardian of Kim Jong-il's reputed $US4 billion fortune.

Classmates remember a quiet boy who arrived in a chauffeur-driven car every day. He was shy with girls but developed a "fiercely competitive" streak on the basketball court. He worshipped basketball stars and had a collection of Nike sneakers.

The only independent witness to Jong-un's early childhood was Kenji Fujimoto, a Japanese chef who worked for the Kim clan. He said that even as a small boy Jong-un was hostile and suspicious of strangers. It was Jong-un's pugnacious personality that persuaded his father to prefer him over his elder brother, Jong-chol, whom Kim Jong-il called "too girlish".

Jong-un's ascent began after his father's stroke in August 2008. In March last year, he was elected to the Supreme People's Assembly. In April he was spotted with his father at a missile test launch. Ten days later he oversaw a giant fireworks display in Pyongyang in homage to his grandfather Kim Il-sung.

Last month, Jong-un accompanied his father to China, where he met President Hu Jintao, and was approved by the Chinese as the successor.

An unusual number of North Korean officials have died since the dynastic manoeuvring began. In June, the veteran party ideology official Ri Je-gang, 80, died in an unexplained car crash. In April, administrator Ri Yong-chol died of a heart attack, aged 81. And in March, the finance chief Pak Nam-gi, who was in his 70s, was executed by firing squad, supposedly for bungling a currency reform that wiped out people's savings.

Delegates to the first major party conference in 30 years arrived in Pyongyang last night. The conference, which was postponed from early September, is due to open tomorrow.

Source: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/kims-heir-to-head-disruptive-campaign-against-g20-in-seoul/story-e6frg6so-1225929687241