Kim Jong-il 'opposed succession'

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's eldest son has claimed in an interview published yesterday in Japan that his father opposed continuing the family dynasty into a third generation, but ended up naming his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, as heir for the sake of national stability.

Hereditary succession "does not fit with socialism, and my father was against it as well," Kim Jong-nam said in an interview with the Tokyo Shimbun. "My understanding is that [succession] was to stabilise the internal system. An unstable North Korea leads to instability in the region."

Kim Jong-nam is believed to have fallen out of favour after embarrassing the North Korean government in 2001 when he was caught trying to enter Japan on a fake passport, saying he wanted to visit Tokyo Disneyland. He was detained for several days and then deported.