A day after ending an official period of mourning for Kim Jong Il, North Korea today warned “foolish politicians around the world” not to expect any policy changes under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, the Associated Press reported.
A statement by the powerful National Defense Commission, broadcast on state media, for the first time referred to the younger Kim as North Korea's “Great Leader” – a title previously used for his father.
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The message warned there would be no softening of the North's position toward South Korea – adding it would never deal with the “traitor group” of President Lee Myung-bak, who reversed a decade-long “sunshine policy” of engagement with Pyongyang, the London Telegraph reported.
The National Defense Commission statement said:
"We declare solemnly and confidently that the foolish politicians around the world, including the puppet group in South Korea, should not expect any change from us."
Kim Jong Il, who ruled North Korea since the death of his father Kim Il Sung in 1994, died of a heart attack on December 17 – and regional neighbors have been watching to see if the leadership change would affect Pyongyang's relations with the international community.
At a memorial service in Pyongyang on Thursday, Kim Jong Un – who is aged in his late 20s and has little political experience – was pronounced Supreme Leader of the ruling party, military and people, the BBC reported. It was the government's first public endorsement of the younger Kim as successor.
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During the service, broadcast live on state television from the city's main Kim Il Sung Square, Kim Jong Un stood on the balcony of the Grand People's Study House, surrounded by top government and army officials, the AP reported.
They included Kim Jong Il's younger sister, Kim Kyong Hui, and her husband Jang Song Thaek, who is expected to act as a mentor to the new leader.