Kim Jong Un

December 19, 2011 by staff 

Kim Jong UnKim Jong Un, The young man tipped to be North Korea’s next leader and propel the Kim dynasty into a third generation is even more of an enigma than his mercurial father Kim Jong-Il, who has died at the age of 69.

North Korean state media on Monday urged people to follow Kim’s youngest son and heir apparent Kim Jong-Un, aged in his late 20s, after announcing that his father had died on Saturday, plunging the country into confusion.
Kim Jong-Un’s life is shrouded in mystery, but in recent years he has been pushed to the forefront as his father apparently speeded up plans for a second dynastic succession after suffering a stroke in August 2008.

In September 2010 the son was made a four-star general and given senior ruling party posts, despite his lack of any military experience. It was only then that state media published his first-ever adult photograph.

Since his elevation, Kim Jong-Un has been constantly at his father’s side, and said to be actively involved in state affairs.

North Korea’s propaganda machine has rolled into action to build up the same personality cult for Jong-Un that surrounded his father and late grandfather Kim Il-Sung, the founder and “eternal leader” of North Korea who died in 1994.

In recent months, state media began referring to him as “general”, after having previously only used his official title — vice-chairman of the central military commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

“The latest move indicates Kim Jong-Un is being put forward formally as a powerful leader like his father,” Sejong Instituteanlyst Cheong Seong-Chang, a specialist in the succession issue, said in October.

“Such a title has been used internally but North Korea now appears to be boosting the image of Jong-Un as military leader,” he added.

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