Kim's Older Brother Placed 'Under Chinese Protection' Kim Jong Un is elevated to head of the ruling party
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 26, 2011 7:02 AM CST
In this May 4, 2001 filer photo, a man believed to be Kim Jong Nam, the eldest son of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, walks out of a police van.   (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi, File)
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(Newser) – North Korea today awarded Kim Jong Un yet another title—he's now the head of the ruling Workers’ Party. But for his brother, no such accolades. South Korea's Yonhap news agency today reported on the whereabouts of Kim Jong Il's oldest son, Kim Jong Nam: He apparently arrived in Beijing several days ago, and "has been placed under Chinese protection." The AFP notes that the 40-year-old has long lived outside of North Korea, mostly in the Chinese territory of Macau. It's not clear if he'll return for his father's funeral.

Back in North Korea, the country's main newspaper today instructed the people to "defend the party's Central Committee headed by respected Comrade Kim Jong Un." The New York Times explains that the head of the Workers' Party's Central Committee serves as both general secretary and chairman of the party’s Central Military Commission. The Times notes that Kim is racking up a number of titles that were formerly bestowed on his father: Over the weekend, North Korean media referred to him as "heaven-sent leader," "the sun of the 21st century," and "eobeoi," which means "parent."