Kim Jong Un named head of armed forces

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Dec. 31 (UPI) -- North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong Un, has been named supreme commander of the country's armed forces, strengthening his authority, state media reported.

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party "underlined the need to hold Kim Jong Un in high esteem as the only center of unity, cohesion and leadership of the WPK [Workers' Party of Korea], devotedly defend him politically and ideologically, and give fuller play to the might of the political and ideological power," Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency said.


Kim Jong Un, who succeeded his late father, Kim Jong Il, as the country's leader, is expected to assume other posts as well, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The North Korean military, with 1.19 members, is one of the world's largest.

Yonhap noted Kim Jong Il had been preparing his youngest son, who is believed to be in his 20s, as a successor, promoting him to four-star general and making him vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party.

As Kim Jong Un was named supreme commander, North Korea also made threats against South Korea.


The Central Committee and the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party said the North would turn South Korea's presidential office "and the stronghold of aggression into a sea of fire and accomplish the historic cause of national reunification without fail if the enemies dare mount an attack," KCNA said.

The threat came a day after North Korea's National Defense Commission said in a statement it would "have no dealings with the [South Korean President] Lee Myung-bak group of traitors forever."

Yonhap said the statement was an indication the North's policy toward the South would not change.

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