North Korea vows no change despite new leadership

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PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea said Friday that rival South Korea and other nations should not expect any change from the country’s new leadership.

A day after North Korea ended official mourning for Kim Jong Il and declared his son Kim Jong Un supreme leader, the North’s powerful National Defense Commission sent a tough message to leaders in Seoul and Washington.

“We declare solemnly and confidently that the foolish politicians around the world, including the puppet group in South Korea, should not expect any change from us,” the commission said in a statement.

North Korea’s power brokers on Thursday publicly declared Kim Jong Un the country’s supreme leader for the first time at a massive public memorial for his father. The ceremony cemented the family’s hold on power for another generation.

The unequivocal public backing for Kim Jong Un provides a strong signal that government and military officials have unified around him in the wake of his father and longtime ruler Kim Jong Il’s death Dec. 17.