North Korea Releases Documentary of Kim Jong Un’s Military Visit

Posted January 3rd, 2012 at 7:35 pm (UTC-5)
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North Korea has released a documentary film showing the country's new leader Kim Jong Un visiting an elite tank division of the country's large army.

The documentary released Tuesday shows Kim Jong Un clapping as he walks past military personnel on New Year's Day. It also shows him talking with a soldier and posing for photographs with clapping and cheering troops.

Mr. Kim was declared the supreme commander of North Korean army and its communist party after the death of his father Kim Jong Il as the world wondered whether he was too young and inexperienced for the leadership position.

But political analysts have noted that North Korea's top political and military leaders appear to have rallied around young Mr. Kim and have hastened to help solidify his power. Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. says the documentary was released to reassure North Korean citizens of a smooth transition of power.

“Collectively the message, perhaps more predominantly for internal consumption – is to reassure the public there is a hand on the helm.”

Klingner says North Korea is probably hoping the video sends the same message to the West where questions remain about Kim Jong Un's ability to lead.

Another concern is the future of the six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament. Pyongyang has announced it won't negotiate with South Korea, one of the main parties in the talks. The United States said Tuesday that the statement bodes ill for reviving the stalled nuclear disarmament talks.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Tuesday that North Korea's improved relations with the South is a condition for a resumption of the talks, which were last held in 2008 in China.

North Korea abandoned the talks in 2009 and conducted a nuclear test which sparked international condemnation and strict United Nations sanctions on the impoverished country. Pyongyang last year signaled it wants to return to the aid-for-disarmament talks.