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North rallies people behind leader Kim amid lingering tensions

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (KCNA-Yonhap)

North Korea on Monday called on its people to rally behind leader Kim Jong-un amid lingering tensions on the peninsula, marking the fourth anniversary of Kim’s rise to chairman of the State Affairs Commission, the highest leadership institution there.

The post was established in 2016 as part of branding the communist regime as a legitimate member of the international community. As chairman, Kim undertook a series of diplomatic breakthroughs including the historic first Washington-Pyongyang summit two years later in 2018.

Leader Kim, described as the “dazzling sun,” has boosted the regime’s power and status amid the worst times, putting forth the “people-first” ideology, according to the mouthpiece of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party.

Kim, in a dramatic pivot last week, ordered suspension of military action, which it had promised it would undertake against the South, at its Central Military Commission meeting and helped to put on hold inter-Korean ties from spiraling into full-on confrontation.

The two Koreas have yet to reach a compromise over the defector-organized anti-Pyongyang leaflets that had prompted the North to demolish an inter-Korean liaison office and reinstall anti-Seoul propaganda loudspeakers as part of its promised initial steps to strike against the South.

“Continuing threats from hostile forces aim to break down the solidarity between the party and the people and sabotage our system, in addition to destroying our economy,” the state-run newspaper said.

By Choi Si-young (