Saturday, September 10, 2011

North Korea leader Kim Jong-il appears with Kim Jong-un

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-il has appeared at national celebrations with his son and heir apparent Kim Jong-un.

The rare joint appearance underlines what observers say is a planned third generation of dynastic rule.

State TV showed the two applauding from a reviewing stand as military hardware rumbled by to mark the 63rd anniversary of North Korea's founding.

Kim Jong-un is already a four-star general and vice-chairman of the Communist Party's military commission.

Believed to be in his late 20s, he made his first public appearance last October at a military parade alongside his father amid speculation that his father's poor health had prompted the succession process.

On Friday, Kim Jong-un again stood with his father, looking out from a balcony at the military parades and cheering crowds in Pyongyang's central square.

Below, crowds waved pink plastic flowers and cheered at images of the youngest Kim's father and grandfather, so far the only leaders North Korea has had since the state's founding in 1948. more