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North Korea

North Korea’s ruler appears with heir apparent at parade

Likely successor Kim Jong-Un appears next to his father on 10 October 2010
Likely successor Kim Jong-Un appears next to his father on 10 October 2010 REUTERS

Kim Jung-Il introduced his youngest son Kim Jong-Un, his likely heir, to the North Korean nation at a huge military parade in Pyongyang, state television shows.

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This is the first time television has shown live footage of the leader with his son who is believed to be 27 years old. Kim Jong-Un stood near his father applauding and saluting as thousands of soldiers marched past.

The event was organised to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the ruling party, but appeared also to showcase the beginning of the succession process. Foreign media were also given the rare privilege of broadcasting the event live from the North Korean capital.

Analysts say the parade could be designed to convince the military to support Jung-Un as the next leader of North Korea.

Jong-Un stepped into the limelight when he was given senior positions in the government in September. He is tipped to become the next leader of the secretive and isolated state. The young man remains a mystery to the western world as the official media had until this year never mentioned his name nor issued his photo.

Kim Jong-Il suffered a stroke two years ago and since then has apparently speeded up plans to put an eventual successor in place. However, he does not appear in a hurry to step down.

 

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