- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
N. Korea pointing to heir’s uncle playing key role
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea is showing the uncle and key patron of anointed heir Kim Jong-un wearing a military uniform with a general’s insignia — a strong sign he’ll play a crucial role in helping the young man take over power and uphold the “military first” policy initiated by his late father, Kim Jong-il.
As North Korea prepares for Kim Jong-il’s funeral Wednesday, it is also warning South Korea against barring visits to Pyongyang by civilian groups hoping to pay respects, saying the obstruction will lead to “catastrophic consequences” for relations between the rivals.
While millions continue to mourn Kim Jong-il, North Korea is offering hints about Kim Jong-un’s rise and the future composition of his inner circle. North Korea began hailing Kim Jong-un as “supreme leader” of the 1.2-million strong military over the weekend as it ramps up its campaign to install him as ruler.
Koreans should become “eternal revolutionary comrades” with Kim Jong-un, “the sun of the 21st century,” the North’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper said Sunday in a commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
State television showed footage Sunday of a uniformed Jang Song-thaek and his nephew Kim Jong-un paying their respects before Kim Jong-il’s body, which is lying in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace. Seoul's Unification Ministry said it was the first time Mr. Jang, usually seen in business suits, had been shown wearing a military uniform on state TV.
Mr. Jang, a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, is the husband of Kim Kyong-hui, younger sister of Kim Jong-il’s and a key Workers' Party official. South Korean lawmakers say intelligence officials have predicted that Mr. Jang and his wife will play larger roles supporting Kim Jong-un.
The new titles, a public show of support from top military leadership and the symbolic appearance of Mr. Jang in uniform send strong signals that North Korea will maintain Kim Jong-il’s “military first” policy for the time being.
The South Korean groups, led by the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, who held a landmark summit with Kim Jong-il in 2000, and a business leader whose late husband had ties to the North, plan to cross the heavily fortified border Monday for a two-day trip, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.
On Saturday, Kim Jong-un again visited the palace where his father’s body is lying in state — this time as “supreme leader of the revolutionary armed forces” and accompanied by North Korea’s top military brass, according to KCNA.
Kim Jong-un’s father and grandfather led the country under different titles, and it remains unclear which other titles will be bestowed on him.
Kim Jong-un was promoted last year to four-star general and appointed a vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party. He had been expected to assume a number of other key posts while being groomed to succeed his father.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- House votes for bargain to end budget drama
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Jane Fonda Foundation fails to make single contribution in 5 years: report
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow