Kim Jong-un is expected to appear alongside his father, Kim Jong-il, at the military parade, marking another major step in his emergence.
Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service/AP
Seoul, South Korea
Just ahead of one of the biggest shows of military might in North Korean history, a top Workers' Party official is saying in so many words what was already clear: Kim Jong-un will succeed his father as leader of North Korea.
Yang Hyong-sop, a member of the political bureau of the Workers’ Party, told the Associated Press Television in Pyongyang that “our people take pride in the fact that they are blessed with great leaders from generation to generation."
His “generation-to-generation” comment was a reference to the ruling North Korean dynasty that began with the rule of Kim Il-sung from the end of World War II until his death in 1994, has continued under Kim Il-sung’s son, Kim Jong-il, and is likely to go on under Kim Jong-un, believed to be 27 years old.
"Our people are honored to be led by the great president Kim Il-sung and the great general Kim Jong-il," Mr. Yang added. "Now we also have the honor of being led by General Kim Jong-un."
His words marked the first formal confirmation that Mr. Kim is in line to inherit power from his ailing father, Kim Jong-il. The interview was carried on South Korean TV networks along with reports of plans for the military parade on Sunday marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party.
Both father and son are likely to appear on the reviewing platform during the military exercises, says Kim Tae-woo, senior fellow at the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, as thousands of troops march behind such symbols of North Korean power as the missiles that it brandishes before the world.