North Koreans preparing Kim Jong Un personality cult

New documents obtained by Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun appear to confirm reports that Kim Jong Il’s son Kim Jong-Un is being groomed as his father’s successor. These include a textbook for high-ranking military officials : “Anyone who meets him (Kim Jong Un) is fascinated by him,” the text says, as well as praising him as “a ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
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581201_090909_un2.jpg
(FILES) South Korean protesters (unseen) hold a picture of a boy, believed to be Kim Jong Il, the North Korean leader's third son Jong-Un, during a rally denouncing North Korea's missile threat, in Seoul on February 19, 2009. North Korea's ailing leader Kim Jong-Il, believed to be gearing up for another barrage of missile tests, has named his youngest son as the eventual heir to the family dynasty, reports said on June 02,2009. AFP PHOTO/JUNG YEON-JE (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)

New documents obtained by Japan's Mainichi Shimbun appear to confirm reports that Kim Jong Il's son Kim Jong-Un is being groomed as his father's successor. These include a textbook for high-ranking military officials :

"Anyone who meets him (Kim Jong Un) is fascinated by him," the text says, as well as praising him as "a military talent who has genius wisdom and policy" and that he "resembles our great general (Kim Jong Il) so much in appearance."

The documents also state that Kim Jong Un commanded the air force as a "vengeful commander" when there were mounting calls in Japan and the United States for intercepting the North Korean missile in April, and that Kim Jong Il once joked that an enemy country would suffer if Kim Jong Un chose to counterattack.

New documents obtained by Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun appear to confirm reports that Kim Jong Il’s son Kim Jong-Un is being groomed as his father’s successor. These include a textbook for high-ranking military officials :

“Anyone who meets him (Kim Jong Un) is fascinated by him,” the text says, as well as praising him as “a military talent who has genius wisdom and policy” and that he “resembles our great general (Kim Jong Il) so much in appearance.”

The documents also state that Kim Jong Un commanded the air force as a “vengeful commander” when there were mounting calls in Japan and the United States for intercepting the North Korean missile in April, and that Kim Jong Il once joked that an enemy country would suffer if Kim Jong Un chose to counterattack.

A document apparently compiled by the North’s secret police urges a prompt preparation for the succession of the leadership, saying, “It is hoped that our General Kim (Jong Un) is crowned as the successor of our dear leader General (Kim Jong Il) as soon as possible so that the burden of our dear leader is lessened.”

Nightwatch’s John McCreary comments:

The haste with which his completely fictitious leadership story has been concocted reinforces assessments that Kim Chong-il could die suddenly. Chong-un has lived in Switzerland and, like his father, has never served a day in a military uniform, except for playing dress-up.

JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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