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

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

China to Open Stock Markets to Pension Funds

In unprecedented move, government to soon allow local pension funds to invest up to $94 billion in domestic shares More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs