National/World

North Korea calls Kim Jong Un 'supreme leader'

Wednesday, December 28, 2011
North Koreas next leader, Kim Jong Un, front left, salutes beside the hearse carrying the body of his late father and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during the funeral procession in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011. Behind Kim Jong Un, in order are Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Ils brother-in-law and vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Ki Nam, and Workers Party officials Choe Thae Bok. At far right is Ri Yong Ho, the Vice Marshal of the Korean Peoples Army, and behind him is Peoples Armed Forces Minister Kim Yong Chun. (AP Photo)

North Korea's next leader, Kim Jong Un, front left, salutes beside the hearse carrying the body of his late father and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during the funeral procession in Pyongyang, North Korea Wednesday Dec. 28, 2011. Behind Kim Jong Un, in order are Jang Song Thaek, Kim Jong Il's brother-in-law and vice chairman of the National Defense Commission, Kim Ki Nam, and Workers Party officials Choe Thae Bok. At far right is Ri Yong Ho, the Vice Marshal of the Korean People's Army, and behind him is People's Armed Forces Minister Kim Yong Chun. (AP Photo)

North Korea says Kim Jong Il's son is now "supreme leader" of the ruling party, military and people as a massive crowd gathers to memorialize the late leader.

Ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam on Thursday told a sea of people in the main plaza in Pyongyang that Kim Jong Un inherits his father's "ideology, character and revolutionary" cause.

Kim Jong Un looked on with his head bowed from a balcony during the memorial.

He was flanked by the top party and military officials.

The memorial began with a silent tribute for Kim Jong Il. The elder Kim led his 24 million people with absolute rule after taking power following the 1994 death of his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.

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