North Korean Leader & Successor Son Visited Artillery Base Just Hours Before Attack

Kim Jong Un, seen second from left wearing a black suit, is the youngest son of Kim Jong Il, far right. The two visited the base where shots were fired from just hours before this week’s attack. (MSNBC)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il and his successor and son Jong-Un visited the artillery base where shots were fired from just hours before the deadly attack on South Korea.
Reuters reported:

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his son and successor Jong-un visited the artillery base from where shells were fired at a South Korean island just hours before the attack, South Korean media reported on Thursday.

North Korea’s attack on Yeonpyeong Island that killed two South Korean marines and two civilians on Tuesday was probably ordered by Kim Jong-il himself, the Joongang Daily quoted a well-informed government source as saying.

Seoul government officials contacted by Reuters could not comment on the reports.

The United States says it believes North Korea’s actions were an isolated act tied to leadership changes in Pyongyang, and many experts say the North carried out the shelling to burnish the image of the inexperienced and little-known younger Kim.

The ailing leader is desperate to give a lift to his youngest son, named as heir apparent to the family dynasty in September, but who has little clear support in the military.

South Korean media reported the father and son had met General Kim Kyok-sik, the commander of the frontline fourth corps in charge of a Navy base in South Hwanghae province, just before the North shelled the island.

According to a well-informed government source, Kim and Jong-un likely ordered the bombardment.

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