North Korean leader Kim Jong II and his son, heir apparent Kim Jong Un, appeared together at a massive military parade on Sunday held amid celebrations marking the foundation of the country’s ruling party.
The two Kims stood on a reviewing stand at Pyongyang’s central Kim II Sung Square, named after the country’s national founder, where goose-stepping military personnel marched by and military hardware, including tanks, passed below.
The festivities were broadcast on state television, giving the North Korean people one of their first good looks at their future leader, who will his succeed his father to carry the communist dynasty into the third generation.
The elder Kim entered the venue to huge cheers from the crowd. He was accompanied by his son and other top officials including Kim Yong Nam, the president of the country’s parliament.
The parade is part of celebrations marking the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the Workers’ Party of Korea. The party last month held a landmark political convention, its most significant gathering in 30 years, at which Kim Jong Un was promoted to vice chairman of the organization’s central military commission.
Kim Jong Un, who was not dressed in military uniform as some analysts had expected, saluted the military personnel as they goose-stepped past the reviewing stand. He wore the same dark, communist-style outfit he has been seen photographed in recently since making his public debut late last month.
Earlier, a North Korean flag was raised and military officers in full dress uniform watching as a band played rousing music and the large crowd looked on.