News North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walks past his uncle Jang Song Thaek - Jang Song Thaek is reported to have been executed for 'attempting to overthrow the state'

Claims that secretive communist regime has carried out a further brutal purge of those the young leader sees as a threat to his authority

AP President Tom Curley, left, opens the new Pyongyang bureau

North Korea puts the welcome mat out for AP bureau

The Associated Press opened its newest bureau in Pyongyang yesterday, becoming the first international news organisation with a full-time presence in North Korea.

Kim Jong-il lying in state; his body is likely to displayed with that of his father

Preserved forever: Kim Jong-il will get the Lenin treatment

Dear Leader's body will be embalmed and put on display in tradition of communist rulers

North Korea keeps door open for food-nuke deal with US

North Korea signaled today that it remains open to suspending uranium enrichment in exchange for US food aid, a deal that appeared imminent before leader Kim Jong Il died last month.

The new supreme leader, Kim Jong-un

No change in policy, warns North Korea despite new leader

North Korea warned the world there would be no softening of its position toward South Korea's government after Kim Jong Il's death as Pyongyang strengthened his son and heir's authority with a new title: Great Leader.

Kim Jong Un's (second left) leadership is not expected to become formal until top party, parliamentary and government representatives convene to confirm his ascension

Kim Jong-un named as 'supreme leader'

Kim Jong-il's son and successor was declared "supreme leader" of North Korea's ruling party, military and the people during a memorial today for his father in the first public endorsement of his leadership by the government.

Mourners weep along the procession route

Mary Dejevsky: Weeping and wailing – alien to us but not necessarily fake

The scenes of mourning beamed in from Pyongyang spoke of a response to death that is quite alien to the modern Western world. So alien, in fact, that the question was repeatedly asked: how much of it was real?

South Koreans watch a TV screen showing Kim Jong-un, right, greet the wife of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, Lee Hee-ho

Kim Jong-il’s funeral will provide clues to North Korea's future

A sub-zero winter wind blew across the low-lying mountains of the southern reaches of North Korea while the country seemed frozen in time awaiting the funeral tomorrow for long-ruling Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-Un, youngest son of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, sitting during a meeting with his father and visiting Lao President

New role for Kim Jong Il's son

Kim Jong Il's son was identified today as head of a top decision-making body of the ruling Workers' Party, a post that now gives him authority over political as well as military matters in North Korea.

Jang Song Thaek, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law and first vice director of the Workers' Party of Korea

New N Korean leader's uncle shows intent to help

North Korea is showing the uncle of Kim Jong-un wearing a military uniform with a general's insignia – in a sign that he will play a crucial role in helping the young man to take over power and uphold the "military-first" policy initiated by his late father, Kim Jong-il.

Jang Song-thaek will be expected to coach his young nephew

Uncle Jang emerges as real power in North Korea

Late leader's brother-in-law will guide the 'Great Successor'

Kim Jong-il lies in state in a glass coffin in Pyongyang yesterday

China reaches out to 'Great Successor' by pledging support

US treads cautious line as North Koreans mourn for Kim Jong-il

Mourners flock to see Kim Jong Il in state

The body of North Korea's long-time ruler Kim Jong Il was laid out in a memorial palace today as weeping mourners filled public plazas and state media fed a budding personality cult around his third son, hailing him as "born of heaven".

LEE MYUNG-BAK: The South Korean President put his military on red alert after the news broke
Supreme Leader: Kim inspects his troops in Pyongyang

Kim Jong-Il: Leader of North Korea who deepened the cult of personality in his country following the death of his father

It is one measure of the cult of secrecy surrounding North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il that his demise was rumoured long before he actually died yesterday. One professor at Tokyo's prestigious Waseda University argued in a best-selling book that the "Dear Leader" had succumbed to diabetes in 2003 and had been replaced by several doubles. "Common sense cannot take the measure of North Korea's uniqueness," wrote Toshimitsu Shigemura in The True Character of Kim Jong-il.

Leading article: A new age of uncertainty in North-east Asia

Few events are potentially as destabilising for undemocratic regimes as the unexpected death of the supreme leader. As the number of totalitarian countries in the world has – mercifully – declined, so too has this understanding. But it was revived yesterday with a vengeance, after the announcement from Pyongyang that the Dear Leader, Kim Jong-il, had died suddenly while travelling outside the North Korean capital on his special train.

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