News / Asia

North Korea Officially Names Kim Jong Un Supreme Commander

In this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, presides over a national memorial service for his late father Kim Jong Il at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. Flanking him are Kim Yong Nam, president o
In this photo taken Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, new North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, presides over a national memorial service for his late father Kim Jong Il at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. Flanking him are Kim Yong Nam, president o

North Korea has officially named Kim Jong Un as supreme commander of the country's military forces, affirming his authority after his father's death.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency made the announcement Saturday.  It said Kim Jong Il's son and successor was given the title at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party.   

Mr. Kim who is in his late 20s has received a string of leadership titles from the government and state media in the wake of Kim Jong Il's death December 17, but few of them were official appointments.

The state-run media say Mr. Kim was made the supreme commander of the 1.2 million-strong military according to his father Kim Jong Il's wish expressed October 8.   Last year, Kim Jong Il promoted his son to a four-star general and also gave him the vice-chairmanship of the ruling party's central military commission.

The death of North Korea's strongman as well as reports of his illness a few years ago sparked speculations about possible changes in the communist country.  But during the funeral ceremonies Wednesday and Thursday, North Korea's top officials appeared to rally around Kim Jong Un.  

And Friday, North Korea's powerful National Defense Commission said that there would be no policy changes under young Mr. Kim.  In a televised message the commission stressed there would be no softening toward South Korea's government after Kim Jong Il's death.

"We declare solemnly and confidently that the foolish politicians around the world, including the puppet group in South Korea, should not expect any change from us," said a KRT news reader.

The statement declared that the country would never deal with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, a conservative, who has pursued a hard-line stance against the Stalinist North.  

In Seoul, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Choi Boh-seon told reporters the Korean peninsula was now in a state of "growing mobility" after Mr. Kim's death.

"As North Korea's top leader died, the mobility in the Korean Peninsula's situation has heightened," he said. "The South Korean Unification Ministry's main focus next year is to closely monitor situation changes, and to deal with any changes flexibly, promptly and with initiative, based on our policies."

The funeral ceremony Thursday ended North Korea's period of mourning.  Witnesses say trade, traffic and boat tourism between the North and the Chinese border city of Dandong returned to normal Friday.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boyi
X
Jeff Seldin
March 05, 2015 2:36 AM
A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More