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Younger Kim named N. Korea army chief

Younger Kim named N. Korea army chief
China's state television shows footage of Kim Jong-un looking at his father's, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, body laying in state in Pyongyang December 20, 2011. China on Monday offered its "deep condolences" on the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, which analysts said will spur China's leaders to boost ties with Pyongyang to prevent instability. UPI/Stephen Shaver | License Photo

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Kim Jong Un, youngest son and successor to North Korea's departed leader Kim Jong Il, appeared Monday to have added another title as he consolidates his power.

Rodong Sinmun, the isolated Communist country's state newspaper, referred to the younger Kim in articles as head of the Workers' Party's powerful military commission.

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Kim already has been designated as successor to Kim Jong Il, who died Dec. 17 after being at the helm for 17 years. During the weekend, other state-run media urged him to take on the title of "supreme commander" of North Korea's military.

Questions remain if Kim, who is believed to be in his late 20s, is capable of ruling the country and its military or whether the North will sink into a power struggle.

The reference by the Rodong Sinmun newspaper indicated Kim may be in line to becoming general secretary of the ruling Workers' Party, which would automatically make him head of the party's central military commission, a title held by his father.

South Korea's Yonhap News agency said Rodong Sinmun's articles suggest the young Kim is acting as the military commission's chairman and the Workers' Party's general secretary.

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"All party organizations across the country are upholding great comrade Kim Jong Un's ideology and leadership with one mind," the state newspaper said. "Let's stake our lives to safeguard the party's Central Military Commission led by dear comrade Kim Jong-un."

China's Xinhua news agency said Sunday top military leaders paid their respects to where Kim Jong Il was lying in state this weekend.

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