A wave of applause greeted the father and son duo as they appeared in front of thousands of supporters gathered in Pyongyang for a party for the eventual successor to the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. This is the first time both of them have appeared together in public. The Kim Jong’s youngest son, Kim Jong Eun, has been a mysterious person even amongst his own people. His identity was closely guarded secret while he attended school in Europe and colleges in North Korea. Even the North Koreans who were aware of his existence feared to utter his name. Until the young Eun was placed in senior positions in the Worker’s Party, there was no mention of him in any media.
At the party in Pyongyang, the bulky 28 –year-old Eun walked beside his frail father. His resemblance to his father and grandfather, North Korean founder Kim Il Sung is said to be striking. There has been doubts among the citizens as to how one so young would lead a country whose economic system is tottering on the brink of collapse.
A huge crowd of foreign journalists were invited to this party held in honor of the heir, Eun. They were allowed to wander around and report free of any official interference this is usually not the norm in this secretive country. This s seems to have been done on purpose to show the world the solidarity of the country and the support the older Kim enjoys in the choice of his successor.
The usually dull looking capital was decked up for the occasion with the people treating it like a huge festival. There followed a huge show in which uniformed men and women marched showing off guns, grenades and missiles. Some of the spectators were quite overcome with the display and could not contain their tears.
North Korea’s nuclear program has left it with more enemies than friends. A delegate from one of its few friends, China, occupied one of the front seats.
All the festivities and cheer withstanding, the young Kim has a long and arduous journey ahead of him as he tries to establish his leadership.