News24

North Korea names new 'supreme leader'

2011-12-29 08:28

Seoul - North Korea on Thursday staged a massive memorial service for late leader Kim Jong-Il attended by tens of thousands, and declared his untested young son and successor the supreme party and military chief.

"Respected comrade Kim Jong-Un is the supreme leader of our party and the military who inherited Kim Jong-Il's spirit, leadership, personality, morality and fortitude," said ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-Nam.

Addressing a vast crowd filling a wintry Pyongyang square, he praised the late Kim for contributing to "global peace and stability of the 21st century".

Jong-Un, clad in a black overcoat, headed the platform. The official news agency also described him as "supreme leader of the party, state and army".

13 days of mourning

The service in Kim Il-Sung Square, named after the communist country's founder and father of the late Kim, will end 13 days of mourning following Kim Jong-Il's death on December 17 from a heart attack at the age of 69.

The country observed three minutes of silence nationwide at noon (03:00 GMT), punctuated by the horns of ships and railway engine whistles.

The service follows Wednesday's pomp-filled funeral which analysts said was designed to bolster the image of Kim Jong-Un, who is in his late 20s and emerged from obscurity only in the past couple of years.

The son inherits a daunting in-tray, including severe food shortages, a crumbling economy, acute power shortages and a nuclear programme which has alienated the West.

UN agencies have said six million people - a quarter of the population - urgently need food aid.

"The great heart of comrade Kim Jong-Il has ceased to beat... such an unexpected and early departure from us is the biggest and the most unimaginable loss to our party and the revolution," Kim Yong-Nam told the crowd, his voice throbbing with emotion.

The North would "transform the sorrow into strength and courage 1 000 times greater under the leadership of comrade Kim Jong-Un and will march firmly along the path of Songun taught by great leader Kim Jong-Il".

The Songun military-first policy prioritises the welfare of the 1.2 million-strong armed forces over civilians.

Support

Another speaker, Kim Jong-Gak, pledged the military's loyalty to the youthful new leader, who has been named a general but has not served in the armed forces.

"Our people's military will serve comrade Kim Jong-Un at the head of our revolutionary troops and will continue to maintain and complete the Songun accomplishments of great leader Kim Jong-Il," he said.

Recalling that the late leader had ordered the military to serve General Kim Jong-Un well, he said all troops "will become a wall to protect" him.

Kim Jong-Gak is in charge of military administration and organisation.

Next to the new leader on the rostrum was military chief Ri Yong-Ho. Also in the line-up were Kim Jong-Gak, Kim Yong-Nam, senior ruling party officials Kim Ki-Man and Choe Thae-Bok, and defence minister Kim Yong-Chun.

It was not immediately clear if the new leader's uncle Jang Song-Thaek was also on the rostrum. Analysts expect him to enjoy an influential role as adviser to the young Kim.

The service ended with an artillery salute.

Since the elder Kim died, the North's propaganda machine has been heaping fulsome praise on both him and Jong-Un, who has already been declared the "great successor".

Jong-Un was at the forefront of Wednesday's three-hour funeral procession which brought tens of thousands of shivering soldiers and civilians onto the snowbound streets of Pyongyang, many weeping or beating the frozen ground.

He walked bareheaded and gloveless alongside the hearse bearing his father's body as it left and returned to the Kumsusan Memorial Palace.

Jong-Un's highly visible presence was in contrast to the 1994 funeral of Kim Il-Sung, when Kim Jong-Il did not follow his father's motorcade, Baek Seung-Joo of the Korea Institute for Defence Analyses in South Korea pointed out.

Ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun on Wednesday stressed the late Kim's achievements in giving his country dignity as a country "that manufactured and launched artificial satellites and accessed nukes".

Comments
  • Comrade - 2011-12-29 08:43

    In all honesty who cares. Let the people VOTE

      Spyker - 2011-12-29 09:35

      The last thing the world needs in the 21st century is another mentally retarded, fat little toddler, with the cognitive capacity of a stone-age rock-painting, running a basket-case puppet-state. South-Korea have adopted Western/Imperialist norms and is today one of the fastest growing economies on the planet - e.g. how many people drive a Hyundai today (only one of a plethora of examples). North-Korea has the same retarded Marxist policies, the ANC is busy coercing upon us (by stealth) and North-Korea has ended up with an economy similar to Zimbabwe - ie its people are starving. Yet it is right next to South-Korea - i.o.w. the conditions are virtually identical. In fact, the stark differences between North- and South-Korea must serve a text-book case to demonstrate why the ANC-style Marxist dogma will fail (dramatically) and opposite remains the only sustainable political model. So.., can someone please explain to me, why anybody would still vote for the ANC.., unless of course, they plan on going on an extreme diet that a life-time (just a pity they will not)..?

  • Squeegee - 2011-12-29 08:44

    If someone wrote this as a script, it would be ridiculed. Unfortunately, reality is sometimes stranger than fiction. This is scifi and parody mixed into one. The "Supreme Leader" looks like an alien. I wonder if he has his dad's golfing skills?

  • colin.dovey - 2011-12-29 08:51

    Do we say it.....can't help his "looks" one supposes, but does the "Young Un" look very much like a very petulant, overfed brat....could be a very dangerous person if he decides to throw his toys out of the cot to demonstrate his new found authority, and with Nuclear capability, that becomes scary for their southern neighbours.

  • Dean Hart - 2011-12-29 08:57

    He needs a virgin gym contract

  • eseum - 2011-12-29 09:13

    Kim, Kim, Kim! Are there other names than Kim in Korea?

      RobertaKeeling - 2011-12-29 09:18

      There's a Ri and Choe! :-)

      Luthando S Gumbi - 2011-12-29 09:33

      This guy's name should be Soon-Gon-Die. Fat dude. Gonna die soon.

      Squeegee - 2011-12-29 09:42

      Luthando, you are clearly discriminating against gravity challenged people.

  • RobertaKeeling - 2011-12-29 09:19

    "he praised the late Kim for contributing to "global peace and stability of the 21st century". The joke of the century, ladies and gentlemen!

  • stephen.cole1 - 2011-12-29 09:21

    I bet the ANC would love to rule South Africa the same way as this !

  • John - 2011-12-29 09:24

    Another Lardboy in the mold of Juli-ass! The poor North Koreans are saddled with yet another (younger) clone of a Supreme Fool!

  • Graziella - 2011-12-29 09:50

    Welcome Kim, may you lead your country to prosperity and peace.

      rlong1952 - 2011-12-29 09:56

      Eh? So how much do you know about NK? His family have been abusing the NK people for years and living like kings while they starve and you say 'Welcome', unbelievable. Are you perhaps related to Mugabe??

      Riaan - 2011-12-29 10:07

      You should get out more and maybe start watching the news.

      stephen.cole1 - 2011-12-29 19:06

      A typical reply from a brain dead supporter of Juli~ass !!!!!!

  • Riaan - 2011-12-29 09:56

    Looks and sounds like characters and a script out of an Austin Power movie. OMG, what does he have on his head?!

  • Twolips - 2011-12-29 10:11

    I was stunned to see the emotions of the NK people as the motorcade passed by. How can these people weep so for this tyrant? So indoctrinated and so unaware of a better world out there. It defies belief. They will be no better off under this scary looking son-of-a-gun.

      Peter - 2011-12-29 10:37

      Reminds me of all the anc and malema rallies free Tee shirts free coke, both types, anything to make themselves look popular, and we all fall for it everytime

      Trevor - 2011-12-29 11:02

      Hitler did it....Russians did it....in the end it always leads to revolt...China is the last "hope" for communists..problem is, it's starting to fall apart with strikes as a start..in short...it's easy to indoctrinate with FEAR...just ask Zuma/Julius..."da Tokolos is going to get you if you don't vote ANC and the Ancestors will be very unhappy with you as well..."

  • Peter - 2011-12-29 10:33

    Kim Yong II should read Kim Yong Dead no loss to anyone, his son looks as dumb as him, is he in talks with zzzzuma probably they are in the same boat

  • Gavin - 2011-12-29 11:08

    How can you tell if someone from North Korea is happy - they cry their eyes out. The new Supreme Leader looks like an Asian Julius Mal Enema. NK needs a William Wallace to come and set them free. Live free or die !

  • Denny - 2011-12-29 11:27

    And the winner is ... Eric Cartman!

  • Nyiks11 - 2011-12-29 11:33

    Kim Jou-Moer

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