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SEOUL, South Korea - North Korea introduced its heir apparent to the world Thursday, a chubby-faced young man with a serious expression, combed back hair cut high and tight on the sides and wearing a communist-style black suit.
The official North Korean media on Thursday published a group photograph showing the faces of its new leadership, including heir apparent Kim Jong-un, formed at the latest extraordinary congress of the Workers Party. "A look at the group photo gives a clear picture of the power structure in the era of Kim Jong-un," a South Korean intelligence official said. "The closer one is to the Kim dynasty, the higher one rises through the ranks." ◆ Proximity Equals Power The photo, splashed across the front page of the official Rodong Sinmun daily, features 235 officials, out of which 70 are clad in military uniforms. Another South Korean intelligence official who saw the photo, said, "Centering on Kim Jong-il, the nine rows in total contain officials in exact order of their rank in the power structure."
SEOUL - THE outside world was given its first glimpse yesterday of Mr Kim Jong Un, the man being groomed to rule North Korea. The youngest son of leader Kim Jong Il was this week appointed to senior political and military posts in the impoverished, nuclear-armed state. The official group photograph of dozens of military and civilian officials showed a plump, poker-faced young man seated in a prominent position, two places to the right of Mr Kim Jong Il, in the front row. Although he was not officially identified, his name appeared in an article accompanying the photo which appeared on the front page of Thursday's edition of the authoritarian regime's main Rodong Sinmun newspaper. The photo was taken in front of the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the former official residence of Mr Kim Jong Un's grandfather and founder of the North Korean state Kim Il Sung.
BEIJING - It was a Jesus move, in a sense. Jesus in the Book of Matthew said the "Day of the Lord" will come "like a thief in the night". And North Korea's new lord-appointee did exactly that. In the wee hours of Tuesday, North Korea's official mouthpiece the Korean Central News Agency announced, just hours before Pyongyang was to hold its biggest political convention in decades, that Kim Jong-eun (now, it's also the opportune time for us to spell the young lord's name right), was appointed as a military general, torpedoing all the "Will he really? But he is too young" suspicions from some North Korea watchers. Jesus said that no one knows the hour or the day except for God. And North Korea's god, Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, indeed pulled off the show at a quite unexpected time when most were asleep. Tuesday's announcement stands now as the clearest signal that Kim Jong-eun the third and youngest son of the North's god-figure is indeed the "anointed son", set to rule the dynasty when his father is no longer around. He was born in 1983, but Pyongyang propagandizes it to be 1982, to nicely coincide with the year 1912 when his grandfather Kim Il-sung was born. (Likewise, Kim Jong-il was born in 1941, but the North misleads it to be 1942, so that all the Kims were born in the year that ends with the number "two" by divine providence).
He’s chubby-cheeked and serious, wearing a dark blue Mao suit. He's sandwiched between two elderly generals, his father one general away on his left. Thus Kim Jong-un, the heir presumptive to power over North Korea, made his photo debut on Thursday after years of speculation about when North Koreans, and the rest of the world, would get a glimpse of him. The photograph, released by North Korea Thursday, was promptly displayed on television and in newspapers in South Korea as proof positive that the young man, in his late 20s, is definitely on the fast track to the job held by his ailing father. Its dissemination came two days after Kim Jong-il made him a general along with five others, including his aunt, and one day after he was named a vice chairman of the military commission of the Workers’ Party.
SEOUL—The first public images of Kim Jong Eun as an adult, released Thursday by North Korean state media, showed the son of dictator Kim Jong Il bearing a striking resemblance to his father and grandfather, putting to rest one of the biggest mysteries about the nation's heir apparent—what he looks like today. The younger Kim, believed to be 26 or 27 years old, stood out in sea of older faces in video images and a photo of top North Korean officials taken Tuesday at a meeting of more than 1,000 representatives of the ruling Workers' Party. In the photo of several hundred officials, the younger Kim sits in the front row near his father, separated by an older general in full regalia. Chubby-cheeked and unsmiling, the younger Kim wears a dark suit that looks similar to his father's well-known khaki track suit.