Seoul: North Korea`s military leaders have
sworn an oath of allegiance this week at a highly symbolic
site connected with the dynastic succession of the communist
country`s ruling family.
Today`s ceremony brought together military leaders
including Defence Minister Kim Yong-Chun, Joint Chiefs of
Staff chairman Kim Jong-Gak and military commissar Ri Yong-Ho,
Pyongyang`s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA)
The ceremony, at a sacred revolutionary site in the
western province of South Phyongan, was held as the communist
state prepares to hold a rare party meeting to pave the way
for a third-generation hereditary succession.
The site at Mount Paikdu, near the border with China,
refers to the hereditary succession of the North`s deceased
founder, Kim Il-Sung, and his son Kim Jong-Il, the current
leader, analysts say.
KCNA reported that the ceremony marked the 50th
anniversary of leader Kim Jong-Il`s start of the Songun
(military-first) leadership, an ideology allegedly devised
when he was 18 and being groomed by Kim Il-Sung for power.
According to the oath sworn at Mount Paikdu: "All the
service persons will take the lead in protecting the party and
the leader and steadfastly carry forward the tradition of Mt
Paikdu with arms and thus glorify forever the history of the
Songun revolutionary leadership."
The ceremony was held as the North`s ruling communist
party prepares to convene a rare meeting early next month to
elect new leaders, including, analysts say, Kim Jong-Il`s
young son and presumed political heir, Kim Jong-Un.
Speculation about succession in North Korea has
intensified since Kim Jong-Il, now 68, suffered a stroke in
August 2008, but he has since recovered sufficiently to work.
South Korea`s spy chief Won Sei-Hoon said in June that
Kim Jong-Il`s poor health was driving him to speed up
preparations for transferring power to Kim Jong-Un.
Kim Jong-Un, 27, has been taking a greater role in
policy-making and has frequently accompanied his father on
inspection tours, according to Won.