North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un, has been appointed a general, the country's state media say. The announcement is the first time Kim Jong-il's third son has been mentioned in public in North Korea. It comes as the country's ruling party holds its biggest political meeting in decades, amid rumours that Kim Jong-il is to begin the process of anointing his son as successor. The 68-year-old leader is reportedly suffering from several illnesses. He is believed to have had a stroke two years ago, and has travelled to China for treatment on numerous occasions. Neither Pyongyang nor Beijing have publicly commented on rumours surrounding his health. The Workers Party meeting starts on Tuesday, with a stated aim of installing a new leadership team.Images released by the North's state media on Monday showed orderly lines of delegates - some wearing suits, others in military uniform - arriving in Pyongyang. The Associated Press reported that the capital was decorated with flags and placards announcing the meeting. One poster read: "Warm congratulations to the representatives meeting of the Workers Party of Korea."