Kim Jong Il is believed to be grooming his youngest son, Jong Un, to take the Kim dynasty into a third generation.
Speculation is rampant that North Korea's Kim Jong-il will go public with plans to name his son his heir at a rare political conference.
Kim Jong-il reportedly met top Chinese leaders on Friday in an apparent bid for Beijing's diplomatic and financial support for a succession plan involving his third and youngest son, who is said to be traveling with him.
Kim Jong-il's visit to China comes as Jimmy Carter visits Pyongyang to seek the release of an imprisoned American.
North Korea's Kim Jong-il began a surprise visit to China Thursday, while former President Carter visited North Korea. The trip raises speculation that the 'Dear Leader' is grooming the son he hopes will succeed him.
On Jimmy Carter's last run to North Korea 16 years ago, I saw Carter in Seoul before he returned to the US. He spoke quietly, even matter-of-factly to explain he'd won the promise of a freeze of the North's nuclear program.
Jimmy Carter was greeted Wednesday by North Korea’s nuclear envoy, Kim Kye-gwan, which analysts say is a signal North Korea wants the visit to be about much more than the release of US prisoner Aijalon Mahli Gomes.
Jimmy Carter's North Korea trip this week may echo a successful meeting he had in Pyongyang 16 years ago. But can he secure the release of an American hostage as fellow former President Bill Clinton did last year?
South Korea is now blocking its own citizens' access to North Korea's Twitter account due to concerns that North Korean propagandists are using the social media website to subvert the South.