June 8, 2010 |
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law was elevated Monday to the second-most powerful position in the leadership, a reshuffling of personnel intended to consolidate the ruling family's grip on the country. The promotion of Jang Song Taek, 64, long believed to be one of the most powerful men behind the scenes in North Korea, was announced after an unexpected meeting of the Supreme People's Assembly, presided over by the ailing Kim. A longtime family confidant, 81-year-old Choe Yong Rim, was named prime minister, a largely ceremonial post.
September 28, 2010 |
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's youngest son has been named a four-star general, a promotion that paved the way for his advance in the ranks but stopped short of installing him as next in line to run the impoverished communist country. On Monday, the eve of a rare congress of the ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, the official Korea Central News Agency announced the appointment of Kim Jong Eun, a mysterious figure who is believed to be 27 years old and to have been educated in Switzerland.
December 27, 2011 |
On a snowy, overcast day, North Korea bid farewell to "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il and ushered in a new era of leadership Wednesday under his chosen successor and youngest son. But as so often happens with the secretive state, the funeral services were kept largely away from the prying eyes of foreigners. How the son handles himself will provide a signal of his capabilities to lead North Korea. His goal will be to show that order has been maintained and that the affairs of state go on, experts say. PHOTOS: World reaction to Kim Jong Il's death North Korea's government-controlled media have in recent days bestowed numerous titles on Kim Jong Un, an apparent paving of the way for his assuming command.
December 19, 2011 |
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il left the family business in terrible shape. Under his leadership over the last 17 years, about 2 million people, almost 10% of his country's population, died of hunger. North Korea developed nuclear weapons, but its people sank ever deeper into poverty and isolation, even while patron and next-door neighbor China charged ahead with its economic miracle. His youngest son, Kim Jong Un, was only recently named to succeed him and is still in his 20s. He has before him what seems an impossible task for a baby-faced young man who just a decade ago was attending high school in Switzerland: Rescue a failed state, and perpetuate the family dynasty into a third generation.
June 10, 2011 |
In the aftermath of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's visit last month, Chinese companies in recent days have held a series of low-key groundbreaking ceremonies across the border for projects designed to jump-start the moribund North Korean economy. The North Korean regime, largely out of desperation, has leased parcels of its territory to the Chinese. The parcels include grassy islands in the Yalu River, near the crossing made famous in 1950 when China intervened in its communist neighbor's behalf in the Korean War; and ports at the northern tip of the country that will give China access to the Sea of Japan through North Korea for the first time in 150 years.
September 29, 2010 |
Kim Jong Il's youngest son was named to senior positions within the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday, another sign from the reclusive state that the mysterious twentysomething will soon succeed his father to become the next leader of North Korea. North Korea's state-controlled news agency reported that Kim Jong Eun was named to the party's Central Committee, and he also was appointed vice chairman of the military committee. The North Koreans appeared to be following a template from 1980, the last time the secretive regime held a major party congress and elected Kim Jong Il to virtually the same positions to groom him as successor to his father, North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung.