N. K. leader, heir-apparent son review military parade

  • Published : Oct 10, 2010 - 17:34
  • Updated : Oct 10, 2010 - 17:34

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and his heir-apparent son reviewed a massive military parade Sunday that marked the 65th anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, television footage showed, as Pyongyang steps up a campaign to pave the way for the son to take over, Yonhap News reported.

North Korea leader Kim Jong-il's son, Kim Jong-un attends a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the communist nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea on Sunday, Oct. 10. (AP-Yonhap)

Live footage from Pyongyang showed Kim and his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, watching the parade from the reviewing stand at Kim Il-sung Square in the capital city. It was rare for the North to televise such an event live., the report said. The regime has usually broadcast such a parade hours after it was held.

The parade came less than two weeks after the communist regime made it widely known at home and abroad that leader Kim Jong-il wants to bequeath power to his youngest son. In late September, the junior Kim was named a four-star general and given the No. 2 title in a powerful organization headed by his father. 

The promotions represented the North's first official steps to put the previously secrecy-shrouded son in line to take over the North in what would be the second-ever hereditary transfer of power in communism. 

The current leader Kim took over the throne from his father after his death in 1994.

 The anniversary was closely watched because Pyongyang could use the celebrations to bolster the standing of the heir-apparent, inspire loyalty and suppress any internal skepticism that he is too young and inexperienced to run the country with a broken economy and nuclear weapons.

Along with military leaders, Kim Jong-un (left), North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's son and heir apparent, watches the Arirang festival in Pyongyang on Saturday. (Yonhap)