North Koreans Told to Back Kim's Son

Nation urged to rally behind 20-something Kim Jong Un
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2011 12:28 AM CST
In this Oct. 10, 2010 file photo Kim Jong Un, right, along with his father Kim Jong Il, left, attends a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.    (AP Photo/Kyodo News, File)
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(Newser) – With the "Dear Leader" dead, North Koreans are being urged to follow the "Respectable Comrade"—Kim Jong Il's third son, who was unveiled as his successor last year. A broadcast on state-run media said the country's people "must faithfully revere respectable comrade Kim Jong Un," the AP reports. "At the leadership of comrade Kim Jong Un, we have to change sadness to strength and courage and overcome today's difficulties."

Little is known about the Swiss-educated younger Kim, who is believed to be around 28 years old, but there have already been songs and poems composed to hail his virtues as a leader, the BBC reports. Some 10 million portraits of the young man have reportedly been prepared for distribution to hang alongside those of his father and grandfather in North Korean homes and workplaces. Analysts, however, suspect that the real power in post-Kim Jong Il North Korea will be held by Chang Song Taek, the influential husband of the late leader's sister. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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