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N Korea declares Kim Jong-Un commander of army

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SEOUL (AFP): North Korea Saturday said Kim Jong-Un, the son of late leader Kim Jong-Il, had assumed the "supreme commandership" of the reclusive nation's million-strong military, state media reported.

Kim Jong-Un had already been declared "supreme leader" of the country during memorial ceremonies for his father on Thursday, as the nation ended 13 days of mourning for Kim Jong-Il.

"The dear respected Kim Jong-Un... assumed the supreme commandership of the Korean People's Army at the behest of leader Kim Jong-Il on October 8," according to the statement by state news agency KCNA early Saturday.

Reports following his father's death suggested the younger Kim was already in control of the armed forces, however Saturday's statement was the first official confirmation of his ascension to the role.

With the world eyeing the succession for any signs of change, North Korea Friday delivered a warning that it would not be changing course under Kim Jong-Un.

Kim, aged in his late 20s, inherits a 1.2-million strong army -- the world's fourth largest -- and a national policy, known as the Songun, that prioritises the welfare of the armed forces over civilians.

During Thursday's memorial head of state Kim Yong-Nam told a vast crowd in the capital Pyongyang that the North under Kim Jong-Un would "march firmly along the path of Songun taught by great leader Kim Jong-Il".

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