Kim Jong Un Declared To Be 'Supreme Leader' Of North Korea
Mark Memmott
Thursday, December 29, 2011 at 7:15 AM
Font size: A | A | A | A |

A television frame grab taken from North Korean TV today (Dec. 29, 2011) shows Kim Jong Un during a memorial service for his father, Kim Jong Il.
A television frame grab taken from North Korean TV today (Dec. 29, 2011) shows Kim Jong Un during a memorial service for his father, Kim Jong Il.
North Korean TV | AFP/Getty Images

The young heir to the familial dynasty that has ruled the nation since 1948 was very publicly proclaimed to have taken his father's place. Kim Jong Il died on Dec. 17.

There was seemingly no doubt it would happen, but nevertheless it was a moment to note today in Pyongyang, North Korea, when the young heir to the familial dynasty that has led the nation since 1948 was proclaimed to be the new "supreme leader."

The declaration came during another public memorial for Kim Jong Il, who died Dec. 17.

Before a large crowd in the capital city's Kim Il Sung Square (named for Kim Jong Il's father, the "Great Leader"), Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, said that "respected Comrade Kim Jong Un is our party, military and country's supreme leader who inherits great comrade Kim Jong Il's ideology, leadership, character, virtues, grit and courage."

And with that, Kim Jong Un — now in his late 20s — was very publicly recognized as his nation's new leader.

As South Korea's Yonhap News says, "the memorial service is an official proclamation that Kim Jong Un will lead the communist country through the political and diplomatic challenges of the crucial transition period."

According to the BBC, "state TV showed Kim Jong-un surrounded by top government and army officials. The memorial event appeared to be the Kim dynasty's unofficial handover of power, says the BBC's Lucy Williamson in neighbouring South Korea." It also notes that during memorial ceremonies on Wednesday:

"Kim Jong Un — who is thought to be in his late 20s and who has little political experience - was accompanied by his uncle, Chang Song-taek. Mr. Chang is expected to be a key player as the younger Kim consolidates power."

Meanwhile, as The New York Times' Lens blog reports, there's evidence that North Korean state media have digitally tinkered with at least one of the photos they've been distributing of scenes in Pyongyang this week. So far, at least, the only distortion known to have happened was the removal of some men from one long-range shot of Wednesday's funeral procession. Our friends at The Picture Show blog plan to have more on the photo doctoring later today. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

This article is filed in: World News

Also in World News  
EU Human Rights Court Could Be Last Stop For German Claiming CIA Kidnapping
Khaled El-Masri says he was mistakenly flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan by the CIA.

Civilians Flee, Soldiers Dig In On Sudanese Frontier
The U.N. is threatening both Sudans with sanctions if they can't reverse their escalating feud.

How To Address France's New, Unmarried First Lady
France's new president was inaugurated Tuesday, and he's moving into the presidential palace with his longtime "companion." Host Michel Martin and the Beauty Shop ladies weigh in on political protocol when it comes to heads of state, politicians and their unmarried significant others.

At Trial, Serb Gen. Mladic Taunts Survivors With Throat-Cutting Gesture
Charged with 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, he remains defiant.

Atlanta Opens New International Terminal
Officials hope the facility means more international businesses will choose to locate in Georgia.

Post a Comment