N Korea`s heir apparent makes fresh public appearance

North Korea`s Kim Jong-Un has attended a concert with his father Kim Jong-Il.

Seoul: The youngest son and heir apparent to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il has attended a concert with his father, Pyongyang`s official media said on Thursday, his second reported public appearance in a week.

Kim Jong-Un, believed aged about 27, was last week appointed a four-star general and given powerful ruling party posts, apparently confirming his status as leader-in-waiting to his ageing and ailing father.

The Korean Central News Agency said Jong-Un, together with senior party, state and Army officials including his father, enjoyed the concert to mark the 65th anniversary of the party`s founding this coming Sunday.

It listed Jong-Un after three members of the party`s prestigious political bureau presidium and gave his new title of vice chairman of the party`s central military committee.

The agency did not say when the concert was held.

Earlier this week, official media said Jong-Un and his father watched a military exercise staged to mark the Workers` Party anniversary. The North is reportedly also planning a huge military parade to commemorate the event.

Jong-Un`s name and photograph had never appeared in the communist state`s official media until he was catapulted into the limelight last week.

The likely next leader of the impoverished but nuclear-armed nation remains a mystery to the outside world. The Swiss-educated youth is not known to have held any formal posts before last week.

Kim Jong-Il, 68, suffered a stroke two years ago and is thought since then to have speeded up plans for an eventual succession.

South Korean Defence Minister Kim Tae-Young said on Monday that the North appeared to be using the party anniversary on October 10 to celebrate "the formation of a succession platform".

He said about 15,000 soldiers have been deployed at the Mirim air base near Pyongyang for the upcoming parade.

Bureau Report