International

First Official Photo Of North Korean Heir Released

Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Yong Nam

hide captionIn this undated photo released on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, second from right, front row, poses with senior Workers' Party officials including a man believed to be his third son Kim Jong Un, left, Vice Marshal Ri Yong Ho, and Kim Yong Nam, right, Kim Jong Il's long-serving No. 2, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service

For years there has been speculation surrounding Kim Jong Un. The secretive North Korean state has never officially released a photo of him, until today. The twenty-something (we don't know his exact age) is sitting to the right of his father Kim Jong Il in the above picture. There is an obvious family resemblance.

The photo was released after a rare gathering of the North Korean ruling party. During the assembly Kim Jong Un was given various titles, including being made a 4-star general. Observers speculate that the younger Kim is being prepared to take over for his father who is in poor health.

Here's a close up photo (Some comments have wondered if I'm conflating the two photos, just to be clear, I'm not, these are two different photos. They're what I had access to.)

Kim Jong Il, Ri Yong Ho, Kim Jong Un

hide captionUndated photo released on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2010, by Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Servic

Anonymous/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service

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