Seven months after taking over as the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un was officially named the country's top military leader on July 17, 2012. North Korean media reported that the promotion was decided in a meeting of top government, military, and Workers’ Party officials.
The news was announced in dramatic fashion, according to media reports. First, the North Korean government sent a special TV and radio broadcast alerting the nation that it would make a “special announcement” around noon. The last time such a “special” announcement like this had been made in advance on state-run television was when Kim Jong-un's father Kim Jong-il died in December. Monitor correspondent Donald Kirk reports that circumstances of the announcement and the bestowal of the title were designed to hammer home the new leader's control.
He still has one more rank to which to aspire – that of “great marshal,” the title held by his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and his father. Meaningless though the difference between "marshal" and "great marshal" may appear, the inference is that he is rapidly falling into place as heir to the dynasty – and may soon reign on their same level.