Ti­tle a sym­bolic move to show leader in con­trol

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

North Korea’s rul­ing party is prepar­ing to be­stow its top ti­tle on leader Kim Jong Un, an­other sign that he is firmly in con­trol de­spite his coun­try’s deep­en­ing in­ter­na­tional iso­la­tion over his drive to keep de­vel­op­ing more and bet­ter nu­clear weapons.

The de­ci­sion to for­mally in­stall - or per­haps sim­ply re­in­stall - Kim at the top is a step along the lines of his late fa­ther and grand­fa­ther, who held the ti­tle of gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Work­ers’ Party and is a sym­bolic move to demon­strate the young leader is ready to be­gin a new era of his own.

Kim is al­ready head of the party, but with the ti­tle of first sec­re­tary. His fa­ther, Kim Jong Il, holds the post­hu­mous ti­tle of ‘eter­nal gen­eral sec­re­tary’ and his grand­fa­ther, na­tional founder Kim Il Sung, is ‘eter­nal pres­i­dent’.

Kim opened the lav­ish Work­ers’ Party congress on Fri­day sin­gling the North’s ad­vances in nu­clear weapons and rock­ets ca­pa­ble of putting satel­lites into or­bit, as ex­am­ples of the coun­try’s progress in the face of in­ter­na­tional crit­i­cism and tough sanc­tions.

The gath­er­ing is a ma­jor mile­stone for the young North Korean leader, who was not yet born when the pre­vi­ous congress was held in 1980.

Kim called the congress a “his­toric” mile­stone in the face of “all man­ner of threats and chal­lenges by the im­pe­ri­al­ists”. He said it would “put for­ward the strate­gic line and tasks to keep ush­er­ing in a great golden age of so­cial­ist con­struc­tion”.

The ref­er­ence to what the North claims was a suc­cess­ful hy­dro­gen bomb test in Jan­uary brought a stand­ing ova­tion from the more than 3,400 del­e­gates.

IN CHARGE: North Korea leader Kim Jong Un

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