Jong-il's son seeks military 'stripes' Says Gates | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 14, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 14, 2010

Jong-il's son seeks military 'stripes' Says Gates

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday recent provocations by North Korea against the south were probably tied to ailing leader Kim Jong-il's youngest son seeking to earn his military "stripes."
Gates, who was in South Korea last month, said one of his biggest worries about the North was that with the succession of the ailing leader's son now apparently underway, there would be more provocations against its neighbour.
Relations across the divided peninsula have turned increasingly hostile after South Korea accused the North of sinking one of the South's warships, the Cheonan, in March, killings 46 sailors.
"I have a sneaking suspicion that Kim Jong-il's son, who wants to take over, has to earn his stripes with the North Korean military," Gates said at the U.S. Marines' Memorial Club in San Francisco.
"My worry is that that is behind the provocation like the sinking of the Cheonan, and so I think we are very concerned that this might not be the only provocation from the North Koreans," he added in response to a question over the threat posed by Pyongyang.

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