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New N. Korea Leader Vows to Fulfill Father's Ideals

October 30, 1994| Associated Press

SEOUL — North Korea's apparent leader promised Saturday to carry on his father's revolutionary ideals in remarks that could signal he will soon formally take power.

The statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency and monitored here was Kim Jong Il's first reference to his role in North Korea's future since the July 8 death of his father, Kim Il Sung, who ruled the Communist state for 46 years.

The elder Kim had groomed his son as his heir-apparent for 20 years, but the younger Kim, often described as lacking charisma and leadership, has not formally assumed power.

North Korea watchers in Seoul have said Kim's health or a political shake-up may be preventing his succession. Others have said Kim is waiting for an opportune moment, rallying people's support for his rule.

"I will as ever devote my all to the country and the people, bearing deep in mind our people's absolute trust in and expectation for our party," Kim said.

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