Reporting from Pyongyang, North Korea —
The older man appeared frail and seemed to have difficulty walking. His young companion, a portly man with close-cropped hair, cut a sharp, youthful contrast.
With brass horns sounding and a ferocious roar from tens of thousands of spectators, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il emerged alongside his youngest son and eventual successor Sunday in a massive coming out party for the newly anointed young heir.
Kim Jong Eun, who is believed to be 27, stood near his ailing father on a long rostrum overlooking a lavish military parade replete with swarms of civilian performers, goose-stepping troops and convoys of army vehicles mounted with missiles.
“It is the first time I’ve seen them together,” said Park Song Nam, 50, a performer wearing a suit and tie who waved synthetic flowers for more than an hour. “I cried the whole time.… I didn’t feel tired because I saw the father and son together.”