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N. Korea moves to crown Kim Jong Un as new ruler

Posted December. 26, 2011 01:05,   

Updated January. 01, 1970 09:00

한국어

North Korea`s new leader Kim Jong Un is likely to soon be appointed supreme commander of the Stalinist country`s armed forces, apparently showing his commitment to lead the communist nation under the "songun" or "military first" policy.

Jang Song Taek, Kim Jong Un’s uncle and key patron, was seen wearing a military uniform with a full general`s badge. North Korean media outlets started using “Dear,” a term once reserved for the country`s founder Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, who headed the powerful National Defense Commission.

In the lengthy "Jeongron (commentary)" titled, “Our Supreme Commander,” the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, said Saturday, “We will complete the grand task of the ‘military first’ revolution by honorably calling Compatriot Kim Jong Un our supreme commander and military general.”

The Jeongron is considered the most authoritative among news articles in the newspaper.

The commentary also said, “Compatriot Kim Jong Un, please accept your appointment of supreme commander as granted by the people and lead Kim Il Sung`s Korea to perpetual victory.”

Choi Jin-uk, chief of the North Korea Research Center at the Korea Institute of National Unification in Seoul, said, “Supreme commander is not the highest position but symbolizes the commandership of the military,” adding, “Since the title only requires appointment without other steps, Kim Jong Un will likely assume the top commander post before ruling the country.”

The North’s Korea Central News Agency Sunday publicized Sunday, “Let’s risk our own lives to protect the party’s Central Committee chaired by Dear Compatriot Kim Jong Un.”

The committee is the party`s supreme governing body and controls the Politburo, secretariat and the Central Military Committee.

Jeong Seong-jang, a chief researcher at the South Korean Sejong Institute, said, “This suggests that Kim Jong Un is effectively serving as chairman of the party.”

The use of the adjective “dear” also illustrates Kim Jong Un’s stature in the communist regime. Kim Yong-hyeon, a professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, said, “The use of this adjective for Kim Jong Un, which had been reserved for President Kim Il Sung and National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il, is meant to demonstrate that there is no problem with Kim Jong Un ruling North Korea as leader of the communist regime.”

“This can also be considered in conjunction with his appointment as supreme commander.”

Kim Jong Il was also said to be called “Dear Compatriot Supreme Commander” beginning in 1991, when he assumed the title of supreme commander of the military.

The Rodong Sinmun also said in the Jeongron Sunday, “Let’s become perpetual partners of Compatriot Kim Jong Un, the sun of the 21st century.”

The (North) Korea Central News Agency said, “Compatriot Kim Jong Un, who warmly cares about the people with the love of his father general (Kim Jong Il), is a true leader and the real parent of the people.” The terms “sun” and “parent” were used only for Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.



will71@donga.com