Conflict & Justice

Kim Jong Un hailed 'Supreme Leader' by military


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (right) and his youngest son Kim Jong Un (left) watch a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang, Oct. 10, 2010.


Petar Kujundzic

The North Korean military hailed Kim Jong Un, the country’s new leader, its “supreme leader,” the Associated Press reported.

The support of the military is considered crucial during this time, when Kim Jong Un is taking over the country less than a week after his father, Kim Jong Il died.

Read more at GlobalPost: North Korea's funeral politics

In a commentary written by Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers’ Party and the primary outlet of the government’s policy statements, Kim Jung Un was referred to as “our heart,” The New York Times reported.

“We urge Comrade Kim Jong Un to embrace the people’s call on him to become our supreme commander,” the commentary said, The Times reported. “We will complete the great task of our songun revolution by upholding Comrade Kim Jong Un as our supreme commander, our general.”

Read more at GlobalPost: Minute of silence for Kim Jong Il boycotted at UN

Kim Jung Un’s latest title and the show of public support sends the strong signal that North Korea will maintain Kim Jong Il’s “military first” policy for now. The policy was first adopted during the famine in the 1990s, which started the building of nuclear weapons and gave the military and its leaders a more prominent place in the government and North Korean society, according to The Times.

On Saturday Kim Jung Un made his third visit to the palace where his father’s body is currently lying, accompanied by North Korea’s top military brass, the AP reported. Kim Jong Il announced his son, Kim Jung Un, would be his successor in September 2010 as the third generation Kim to rule the country.

Read more at GlobalPost: In-depth series: North Korea, what's next?