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North Korean Successor Named As Head Of Powerful Committee


Kim Jong Un, flanked by senior military men, pays his respects to his father, the former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, lying in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on December 20.

Kim Jong Un, flanked by senior military men, pays his respects to his father, the former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, lying in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang on December 20.

North Korean state-run media have referred to the son and successor of the late leader Kim Jong Il as the head of the ruling Workers' Party Central Committee.

The post is regarded as a key one and suggests the son, Kim Jong Un, is on track to take full control of North Korea.

The reference, in an article in the "Rodong Sinmun" newspaper, came after North Korean media began hailing Kim Jong Un as the "supreme leader" of the 1.2-million strong North Korean military and images appeared of him flanked by senior military officers at a viewing of his father's body lying in state.

Kim Jong Un will be the third-generation Kim to rule the internationally isolated country of 24 million.

In another development, the wife of a former president of neighboring rival South Korea -- Lee Hee-Ho, the widow of late president Kim Dae-Jung -- and Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jung-Eun traveled to North Korea to pay respects to Kim Jong Il, whose remains are due to be buried on December 28.

South Korea has allowed only two groups to visit the North and pay condolences over the death of Kim Jong Il on December 17, prompting angry excoriation from North Korean media.

compiled from agency reports
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