North Korea named a brother-in-law of leader Kim Jong Il to a powerful military post yesterday and sacked its premier in moves seen as consolidating Kim’s grip on power and paving the way for his youngest son to succeed him.

 

Kim attended a rare session of the rubberstamp parliament, the Supreme People’s Assembly, to personally name Jang Song-thaek as vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, the North’s KCNA news agency said.

 

The commission, headed by the “Dear Leader” himself, represents the pinnacle of power in the hermit state.