Kim Jong-un takes control of N Korean military

 

North Korea has announced that Kim Jong-un has been officially named supreme commander of the military, further strengthening his authority after the death of his father, long-time North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Officials and state media have bestowed on Kim Jong-un, who is in his late 20s, a string of titles as North Korea's elite rally around him in the wake of his father's death this month after 17 years in power.

But the title Supreme Commander - and its formal proclamation by the powerful Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party - is a clear sign that Kim Jong-un is fast consolidating power over North Korea.

It is also the latest step in a burgeoning personality cult around him.

Kim Jong-un's age and inexperience have raised questions outside North Korea about his leadership of a nation engaged in delicate negotiations over its nuclear programme and grappling with decades of economic hardship and chronic food shortages.

But the North has moved quickly to show the world a unified face.

Kim Jong-un should be "the only centre of unity, cohesion and leadership" of the Workers' Party, North Korea's state media said, and the 1.2 million-strong military should uphold the "songun", or military-first, politics laid down by Kim Jong-il.

The party said the country should unite around Kim Jong-un and strengthen "the monolithic leadership system of the dear respected Comrade Kim Jong-un throughout the party and society".

An unannounced Workers' Party meeting yesterday proclaimed that the younger Kim "assumed supreme command of the Korean People's Army" according to a will made by Kim Jong-il on October 8, the North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement.

The meeting of the North's ruling party came one day after the official mourning period for Kim Jong-il ended and senior military and political officials publicly declared Kim Jong-un leader of the party, military and people at a massive memorial for his father.

Titles are an important part of North Korea's efforts to link Kim Jong-un to the myth-building surrounding the Kim family legacy.

Kim Il Sung, the country's first and only president, retains the title Eternal President even after his death.

Kim Jong-il held three main positions: chairman of the National Defence Commission, general secretary of the Workers' Party and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army.

According to the constitution, his position as chairman of the National Defence Commission made him Supreme Leader of North Korea.

Kim Jong-un was made a four-star general last year and appointed a vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party.

Since his father's death, he has picked up major titles from officials and state media: Great Successor, Supreme Leader and Great Leader. And now he has officially been named Supreme Commander.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Sport
Serena Williams holds the Australian Open title
sportAustralia Open 2015 final report
Sport
footballLive: All the latest from today's Premier League matches
News
Nick Clegg playing 'Palin or prom queen'
newsNick Clegg on TV's The Last Leg
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
This weekend's 'Big Hero 6' by Disney Animation Studios
arts + ents
News
i100
News
Budapest, 1989. Sleepware and panties.
newsDavid Hlynsky's images of Soviet Union shop windows shine a light on our consumerist culture
Arts and Entertainment
Eleanor Catton has hit back after being accused of 'treachery' for criticising the government.
books
News
In humans, the ability to regulate the expression of genes through thoughts alone could open up an entirely new avenue for medicine.
science
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Transport Administrator / Planner

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing reinforcing s...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Associate - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL FIRM - A...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Law Costs - London City

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - EXCELLENT FIRM - We have an outstandin...

Austen Lloyd: In-House Solicitor / Company Secretary - London

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: IN-HOUSE - NATIONAL CHARITY - An exciting and...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee