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Last updated at 15:34 GMT, Monday, 09 January 2012

Kim Jung-un birthday


9 January 2012

North Korea has marked the birthday of its new leader, Kim Jong-un, with a documentary aired on state television. Kim Jong-un became the third leader of the Communist state last month, after the sudden death of his father, Kim Jong-Il.

Lucy Williamson

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (front row - centre)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un posing for photos with soldiers.


Click to hear the report


This is a documentary about the future as much as about the past. Kim Jong-un is still not yet 30: his childhood years too recent for a lingering look.

Instead, he's shown in his new role as North Korea's supreme military commander: inspecting troops, saluting, sitting in a tank. Other images, meant to reassure, show him doing all the things his father used to do: visiting factories, talking to officials, and inspecting their work.

Websites linked to the North Korean government have already begun describing the new young leader as having the wisdom of great men, and extraordinary competence.

Kim Jong-il's sudden death left a dangerous vacuum in a society raised to venerate one supreme leader. Less than a month on, North Korea's unique media machine is already working to fill it.

Lucy Williamson


Click to hear the vocabulary


a lingering look

a slow and long examination (of his life)


highest ranking

to reassure

to make people less doubtful or worried


closely checking or examining


experience and knowledge


greater than normal


ability to do something well

a dangerous vacuum

a damaging situation where nobody is in charge

to venerate

to show a lot of respect for

media machine

group of state-controlled broadcasting services (eg: radio, tv, internet)