North Korea confirmed for the first time that Kim Jong Il’s son will succeed him as the country’s leader, the Associated Press Television News reported, citing an interview with Politburo member Yang Hyong Sop.
Kim Jong Un, who South Korean officials say is in his late 20s, was elected to the ruling party’s No. 2 military post at a meeting on Sept. 28. His appointment, a day after he was made a four-star general, was the first indication that his father planned to extend his family’s rule, which began with North Korea’s founder, Kim Il Sung.
“Our people are honored to be led by the great President Kim Il Sung and the great general Kim Jong Il,” Yang said in the interview today in Pyongyang. “Now we also have the honor of being led by General Kim Jong Un.”
Yang, 85, is vice president of North Korea’s Supreme People’s Assembly and one of 17 permanent members of the Politburo. He was one of several octogenarians retained by Kim Jong Il in what analysts said was an attempt to safeguard the succession.
“Our people take pride in the fact that they are blessed with great leaders from generation to generation,” Yang told APTN. “What I can tell you is that the great general Kim Jong Il and general Kim Jong Un will lead us to victory with their wise guidance.”
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