Recently the NHK News reported the following:
It was expected that there would be speculation that, the General Secretary Kim Jong-il of North Korea together with his successor Jonun had met with a powerful leader from China visiting Pyongyang, was Kim's plan to complete his wish in getting China's full support to the father-to-son power transfer.
According to the Chinese government-run television, General Secretary Kim of North Korea had conferred with Li Yuanchao, the Director of Central Organization of the Chinese Communist Party who visited Pyongyang on the 13th. During the conference, while the director indirectly talked about the anxiety over the increasingly shocking North Korea postures towards South Korea, General Secretary Kim in response said "Close communication with China was kept, and the peace and stability in the region was maintained", and had showed a posture of understanding towards China. Moreover, it had been understood that in the meal gathering held after the conference, General Secretary Kim's successor, the third son Jonun was also sitting at the table, a scene was showed that he was chatting with the participants from the China side, completely showing Kim parent and son had entertained important people from China. It was considered highly probable that Lee, as Director of Organization would enter the highest leadership organization in the Chinese Communist Party's gathering to be held next year, and there seemed to have speculation that General Secretary Kim's plan was seeking China's support to the father-to-son power transfer thoroughly by introducing Jonun to a person that was regarded as the next term leader.
China has a very close diplomatic relationship with North Korea. Whether this is an asset or a liability would very much depend on the wisdom of the Chinese leaders.