KCNA stressed the military significance of the conference, the first of its kind in 44 years, at which, it said, delegates were told to fulfill the policy of “songun” or military first. The conference, said KCNA, “demonstrated the revolutionary faith and will of all the party members, service persons and people.”
Kim Jong-un was not named, however, as a member of the party politburo, which his father leads as general secretary. Rather, he had to settle for membership on the central committee of the party – a decision by his father that is seen as a reflection on his youth and a bow to his need for experience before rising to full power.
Many details surrounding Kim Jong-un are unclear. Even his age, reported here to be 27 years old, is reported varyingly in the media. He is said to have attended the Kim Il-sung National War College, named for his grandfather, who ruled for nearly half a century before dying in 1994 and passing on power to Jong-un’s father. Jong-un reportedly did not actually commute to classes but was tutored at one of his father’s residences.