(Kim Jong-Un, left, beside his father, Kim Jong-Il)
How do you know you’re being groomed for something higher in North Korea? Rather than feed your own people, you organize a pricey fireworks display!
The Mainichi newspaper printed a photo of a round-faced and well-dressed man accompanying North Korea’s “Dear Leader” on a visit to a steel mill in North Hamgyong Province in March.
Kim Jong-un is being groomed to take over from his father, whom some experts believe to be suffering from the after-effects of a stroke that has been worsened by long-standing diabetes as well as kidney and heart disease. Little is known of his third son and the last photos confirmed to have been of Kim Jong-un were taken when he was in his early teens. Now believed to be in his late 20s, North Korea’s state-run media has been gradually raising his profile over the last 18 months, since his two other brothers apparently fell out of favour.
Kim Jong-un last week organised the fireworks display along the Taedong River in Pyongyang to mark “The Day of the Sun,” the 98th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung, the founder of the nation and Kim Jong-il’s father. Kim Jong-il was himself entrusted with the event shortly before assuming a more important role in the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers’ Party.
The lavish fireworks display is estimated to have cost $5.4 million (£3.5 million).
This week, China, North Korea’s closest ally, predicted serious food shortages in North Korea in May due to a poor harvest last year. The regime reportedly requires 2 million tons of corn and other foodstuffs to stave off another famine.
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