Kim speaks with youth in rare appearance

Kim speaks with youth in rare appearance

PYONGYANG, North Korea
Kim speaks with youth in rare appearance

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) surrounded by members of the Korean Children’s Union organizations during a joint national meeting in Pyongyang. AFP photo

North Korea’s young leader Kim Jong-un made his second speech at a major public event since taking power in December, addressing a children’s rally aimed at winning a new generation’s support on June 6.

About 20,000 young people gathered at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Stadium for the speech, which capped an unprecedented six-day children’s festival. The celebrations took place two days after North Korea’s military threatened to fire at South Korean media companies unless they apologized for criticisms of the festivities, including a Channel A report comparing the event to Hitler Youth rallies during Germany’s Nazi era, The Associated Press reported.

North Korea typically holds mass events for landmark anniversaries such as the leaders’ birthdays and the founding of the Workers’ Party or military.

It is the first time such extensive celebrations have been organized for the founding of the Korean Children’s Union, the first political organization young North Koreans join. Kim told the children, who were dispatched to Pyongyang for the gathering by plane, train and bus from across the nation, that they were the future masters of “a most powerful country where every home will be full of laughter and everybody lives in harmony.”

June 6 marks the 66th anniversary of the founding of the Korean Children’s Union, which students join at age 7 until they graduate at age 13 to the Kim Il-sung Socialist Youth League.

South Korea accuses North of stealing secrets

In the meantime, South Korea’s military security chief accused North Korea yesterday of training elite hackers to steal military secrets and stir up public disorder.

“North Korea is trying to steal military secrets and cripple our defense information system by using experts specially trained to hack into our military information network,” Defense Security Commander Bae Deuk-Shik told a security forum.

Kim Jong il,