After his return to Pyongyang from Switzerland in 1998, Jung-Un reportedly attended Kim Il Sung Military University from 2002 to 2007 but did not take any specific role either within the Workers' Party or the military. He was known to have accompanied Kim Jong Il at visits to military sites thereafter in line with North Korea's "military-first policy" and have been trained by military generals.
"North Korea has kept this son in the dark strictly controlling any pictures or information on him," said Seo Yu-Seok at the Institute for North Korean Studies.
But analysts said it was still too early to give weight to the Yonhap report given Kim Jung-Un's short-lived and unknown career. Kihl-Jae Ryoo, professor at Kyungnam University of North Korean Studies said that even within the autocratic state the power structure is such that a future leader must gain support from the senior bureaucrats with respectable accomplishments.
"Kim Jong Il is a man of formality," said Ryoo. "Like himself, he would want his heir to be officially nominated as a political member from the politburo of the Communist Party before appointing any of his sons."
Qree Yeon and Youmi Kim contributed to the reporting of this story.