North Korea Heir Apparent Debuts at Lavish Military Parade

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A parade takes place in Pyongyang, with North Korea's heir apparent appearing publically for the first time. Kim Jong-un will be the third generation family successor.

Pyongyang comes alive in a rare display of military pageantry as North Korea's heir apparent makes his first major public appearance.

Kim Jong-un viewed the parade with his father, and president, Kim Jong-il, following the younger Kim's recent appointments to key military and political posts.

State television broadcast the event live and foreign journalists were invited to attend.

The event aimed to boost Kim Jong-un's standing in one of the world's largest armies, and present him to the North Korean people.

Little is known about the younger Kim, other than that he is in his mid-to-late 20's and was educated in Switzerland.

Kim Jong-il is thought to have suffered a stroke in 2008, and may be in declining health.

A solid succession could bring relief to North Korea's neighbors, who fear a regime collapse could destabilize the region.

But Kim is also poised to continue isolating the country, which has worried the world with its nuclear ambitions.

A president Kim Jong-un would be a third-generation leader in the family dynasty that has ruled the country since its founding after World War II.

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