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Heir Apparent Appears in N. Korea

October 17, 1994| Associated Press

SEOUL — The son and heir apparent of North Korea's late President Kim Il Sung appeared in public Sunday for the first time in nearly three months, and top military and Communist officials swore allegiance to him.

Kim Jong Il did not speak at the memorial service for his father, and he was identified by his old government titles, indicating that he has not yet formally assumed the positions of president and Communist Party leader that his father held until he died in July.

But his appearance could end speculation that health problems or political opponents are preventing him from succeeding his father, who ruled the reclusive Communist state for 46 years.

"His appearance at a ceremony officially ending 100 days of mourning for President Kim Il Sung shows that the North is ready to usher in a new era under Kim Jong Il," said Kim Kook Chin, a senior official at a state-funded South Korean research institute.

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