Kim Jong-un, heir apparent, reviews military parade

08:37, October 11, 2010      

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Kim Jong-un (left), the North Korean leader-in-waiting, and his father and current leader Kim Jong-il salute during a military parade in Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang. Photo: IC

North Korea's newly confirmed successor as top leader, Kim Jong-un, made his most high-profile public appearance yesterday at a military parade to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), on Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-il, general secretary of the WPK and chairman of the National Defense Commission of North Korea joined his third son in front of cheering crowds at the massive ceremony, which featured cadets, soldiers and tanks, missiles and other military hardware, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Also present were Kim Yong-nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea, and many other senior officials.

Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, who arrived Saturday morning in Pyongyang for a three-day official visit, watched the grand parade on the rostrum beside Kim Jong-il as the only foreign guest.

Lü Chao, a researcher of Korean studies at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, noted that Zhou's important position on the rostrum
showed how highly North Korea values Beijing-Pyongyang relations.

Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday sent a congratulatory message to Kim Jong-il for the 65th anniversary of the WPK's found-ing, saying that the Communist Party of China highly cherishes the traditional friendship between the two countries, and maintains an unswerving policy of continuously strengthening and developing friendly and cooperative bilateral ties.

Cui Zhiying, a professor specializing in Korean issues at Tongji University, told the Global Times that Kim Jong-un is still in a learning and observing process as future leader.

"He will follow the instructions of his father regarding leadership. As the young, future leader, he won't make big changes to the country's global strategy, such as denuclearization," Cui said.

Cui also noted that China does not have much say in the succession of the North Korean leadership.

"China will not interfere in North Korea's internal affairs. All China wants is the stability of North Korea's political situation and of the Korean Peninsula," he added.

"China welcomes the stable succession of the North Korean leadership, which will stabilize the Korean Peninsula. But the best solution would be the reopening of the Six-Party Talks," Cui said, adding that "denuclearization requires a safe and friendly global environment."

By Chen Rui, Globla Times
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