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Telegraph.co.uk | Mar 1
Dennis Rodman wrapped up his bizarre "basketball diplomacy" trip to Pyongyang with some words of praise for the Kim dynasty. Kim Jong-un is an "awe...
Along with successor Kim Jong-un, seven people escorted the hearse of Kim Jong-il during today's funeral procession. They will be the real influential people in the Kim Jong-un era. Here's who these men are:
Among the seven, Kim Jong-un's uncle, Jang Song-thaek, is the most powerful. Jang stood right behind Kim Jong-un, and he is known as the second most important in North Korea. What is more, he appeared on the 24th wearing a full general's uniform for the first time. So, he is likely to have greater influence within the military as well.
Behind Jang, Kim ki-nam and Choe Tae-bok are known as Kim Jong-un's tutors. They are also secretaries of the Worker's Party of Korea, and also head propaganda and foreign affairs, respectively.
On the other side, the hearse was flanked by the top military officers. These heavyweights include military chief Ri Yong-ho and the Minister of People's Armed Forces Kim Yong-chun. Under their new supreme commander, Kim Jong-un, they will ensure continuation of the Songun, or "Military First" policy.
The head of the Politburo, Kim Jung-gak and the head of the State Security Department Woo Dong-cheuk appearances in the funeral parade means a likely tightening of surveillance control over both soldier and citizen.
The influential figures who lead the Songun policy and follow the path set by former leaders Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung.
It is likely that these seven influential people will hold every key party, cabinet, and military position, will have huge roles in arranging a soft landing for the start of the Kim Jong-un era, and the future direction of national affairs.