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Kim Jong Un’s Uncle Suddenly Relevant After Four Decades Abroad

  • North Korea mystery puts spotlight on surviving son of founder
  • Kim Pyong Il has bloodline, if not ties to lead in Pyongyang
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Who Is Ready to Succeed North Korea's Kim Jong Un?
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For about as long as North Korea has existed, Kim Pyong Il has been considered a possible successor to the throne. And now, with his nephew Kim Jong Un’s health status unclear, his name is being bandied about again.

Kim Pyong Il, 65, is the last known surviving son of North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Sung. After losing out in the 1970s to his half-brother, Kim Jong Il -- who ended up running the country from 1994 to 2011 -- Kim Pyong Il spent about four decades overseas in diplomatic posts including in Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland and the Czech Republic before returning to Pyongyang last year.