Kim Jong Un officially becomes North Korea's supreme leader
PYONGYANG, North Korea (KABC) -- North Korea has a new supreme leader. Kim Jong Il's youngest son, Kim Jong Un, officially came into power Thursday during a national memorial service for his father.
Before the ceremony began, hundreds of thousands of mourners bowed their heads for a moment of silence.
They packed the capital's main square where the new supreme leader watched from a balcony.
The ceremonial head of state told the crowd that Kim Jong Un inherits his father's ideology, character and revolutionary cause.
The unequivocal public backing for Kim Jong Un at his father's memorial provides a strong signal that government and military officials have unified around him in the wake of Kim Jong Il's death. He died of a heart attack on Dec. 17 at the age of 69.
There are questions outside North Korea about wheather Kim Jong Un, who is in his late 20s, is ready to lead a nation engaged in long-stalled negotiations over its nuclear program and grappling with decades of economic hardship and chronic food shortages.
Kim Jong Il led 24 million people with absolute power for 17 years. He inherited power from his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, who died of a heart attack in 1994, in what was the communist world's first hereditary succession.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
famous death, north korea, world news
- DTLA police search: armed, dangerous suspect 11 min ago
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies
- 1 dead, 9 injured in Fontana accident on 10W
- S. Korea ferry: Evacuation order delayed
- Police: 2 South LA fires may be connected
- Child molestation charges for teacher dropped 31 min ago
- Suspicious package found at post office near USC
- Female pedestrian struck, killed in Riverside
- LAX Terminal 7 partially evacuated over threat
- abcnews: Victim's mom halts killer's execution 52 min ago
- Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic expert faulted
- Toddler found playing inside toy claw machine
- Key dates announced for 87th Oscars in 2015 18 min ago
- OTRC: 'Mrs. Doubtfire 2' planned, child star reacts 16 min ago
- Latest weather with Garth Kemp
5 min ago