North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is unlikely to assume formal power soon, his half-brother was quoted Wednesday as saying.
There has been widespread speculation that the 53-year-old Kim Jong Il would assume the communist country’s top two titles next Tuesday, the 50th anniversary of the founding of the governing Workers Party.
But Kim Pyong Il, North Korea’s ambassador to Finland, told South Korea’s Dong-A Ilbo newspaper that he was not aware of plans by his elder brother to do so.
Kim Jong Il became the North’s supreme military commander in 1991. He has yet to claim the other two top titles that his late father, Kim Il Sung, held until his death 15 months ago - president and party head.