North Korea's Dear Leader Kim Jong-il promoted both his sister, Kim Kyong-hui, and his youngest son, Kim Jon-un to four start generals in a move that experts say is a precursor to the younger Kim taking control of the country.

The elder Kim is widely believed to have suffered a stroke two years ago, and may also have pancreatic cancer, so this is most likely another step in grooming his third, and youngest son to take power. Kim's Ferragamo loafer-wearing eldest son, Kim Jong-nam lost a power struggle with his little bro several years ago. Kim Jong-un is thought to be 27 years old.

The promotions came just before today's Korean Workers' Party meeting — the first of its kind in decades. A North Korea expert at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, Lee Sung-yoon told the Times: "This is a very big deal."


[Kim Jong-il with Daddy long ago, image via AP]