Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New N. Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with S. Korean delegation

Liu Xiaoming puts a finishing touch on his sand sculpture of the late North Korean leader Kim Jung Il on a riverside in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Monday.

Associated Press

Liu Xiaoming puts a finishing touch on his sand sculpture of the late North Korean leader Kim Jung Il on a riverside in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province on Monday.

PYONGYANG, North Korea — New North Korean leader Kim Jong Un burnished his diplomatic skills Monday, welcoming a private South Korean delegation as state media called him a "sagacious" leader and revealed a new title that gives him authority over political matters.

Kim has rapidly gained prominence since the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, on Dec. 17, and his brief meeting with a mourning delegation led by a former South Korean first lady and a prominent business leader shows Seoul that he is assured in his new role.

State media have showered Kim with new titles. On Saturday, the North referred to him as "supreme leader" of the 1.2 million-strong armed forces and said the military's top leaders had pledged their loyalty to him. On Monday, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper described him as head of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party — a post that appears to make him the top official in the ruling party.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency also called Kim a "sagacious leader" and "dear" comrade while reporting that he paid respects Monday to his father, whose body is lying in state at Kumsusan Memorial Palace. State media have already dubbed him a "great successor" and an "outstanding leader."

It was the fourth time the North's media reported that Kim had visited the memorial palace since his father's death, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

Also on Monday, a South Korean delegation stood in a line on a red carpet and bowed during their visit to the Kumsusan palace, where Kim Jong Il's bier is surrounded by flowers and flanked by an honor guard.

Kim Jong Un gave the South Koreans his thanks after they expressed condolences and sympathy, the Korean Central News Agency said. The Unification Ministry confirmed the meeting in a statement.

The lead delegates were the widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, who engineered a "sunshine" engagement policy with the North and held a landmark summit with Kim Jong Il in 2000, and Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jeong Eun, whose late husband had ties to the North.

New N. Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with S. Korean delegation 12/26/11 [Last modified: Monday, December 26, 2011 10:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Clearwater residents avoid tax rate increase for ninth year in row

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER — Residents will avoid a rate hike on their property taxes for the ninth year in a row as taxable values continue to recover from recession levels, padding city coffers.

    Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos said the city must be prepared for unexpected expenses. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  3. Diaz, Taddeo win easily in special Miami Senate primaries

    Blogs

    Two Miami state Senate candidates who raised and spent the most in their respective primaries — Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz and Democratic businesswoman Annette Taddeo — notched easy victories in a special election Tuesday night.

    Republican candidate Jose Felix Diaz is surrounded by supporters after he won the primary for Florida’s Senate District 40 race. Democrat Annette Taddeo, right, celebrates her victory with supporter Venus Lovely at BJ’s Restaurant in The Falls.
  4. In live debate, Kriseman and Baker ask St. Pete: Is the city better off?

    Elections

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Mayoral candidates Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker made their best pitch to voters in front of a live television audience on Tuesday night. The candidates essentially asked this: Is the city better off now than it was four years ago?

    Incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and former Mayor Rick Baker debate in front of a live television audience during the City of St. Petersburg Mayoral Debate at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg on Tuesday evening. The event was sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times and Bay News 9. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  5. Romano: It all comes down to sewage in this mayoral race

    Local Government

    Well, poop.

    Nothing else really matters, does it?

    Schools, economic development, public safety? Pfft. The Rays stadium, affordable housing, the pier? Ack. When it comes to the St. Petersburg mayoral election, sewage is the yin, the yang and the yuck.

    At Tuesday’s debate, incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman said responsibility lies on him regarding the sewage crisis.