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North Korea Military Parade Suggests Succession On Course

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (left) and his son Kim Jong-un
North Korea today marked the 63rd anniversary of the country's estabishment with a military parade attended by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as well as his son and heir apparent, Kim Jong-un.

State television showed the two Kims standing atop a dais as troops, multiple rocket launchers, antiaircraft guns and other weapons passed by.

Kim Jong-un, who is believed to be in his late 20s, was last year made a four-star general and given a prominent role in the ruling party amid speculation his father was grooming him as his eventual successor.

Kim Jong-il is 69 and is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008.

The elder Kim himself succeeded his late father and founding president Kim Il-sung.

compiled from agency reports