It appears that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has chosen a successor: his youngest son, Kim Jong Un.
Kim Jong Un was promoted to the position of four- star general by his father earlier this week, leading to speculation the elder Kim may be preparing him to take over the nation. Kim Jong Un was also named vice chairman to both the party’s Central Military Commission and its Central Committee.
Kim Jong Il has been the nation’s leader since his father, Kim Il Sung , died of a heart attack in 1994. Kim, who askes to be called “Dear Leader” by his nation, reportedly suffered a stroke two years ago, and is said to suffer from diabetes and kidney trouble, according to msnbc.com.
Although the recent promotions have brought the younger Kim into the Korean media spotlight this week, little else is known about the twenty-some apparent heir. Before the promotion, North Korean media did not mention him. However, recent foreign visitor to North Korea said that ordinary citizens know his name, and school children are being taught a song called “Footsteps,” praising Kim Jong Un, according to cnn.com.
Obama Declares his Stance on Faith and Abortion
While at an event planned to be a discussion of the economy last Tuesday, President Obama was questioned on his stance as a Christian and his views on abortion.
“I came to my Christian faith later in life, and it was because the precepts of Jesus Christ spoke to me in terms of the kind of life that I would want to lead,” Obama said.
The President also shared his belief that religious freedom is one of the America’s greatest qualities.
“Their own path to grace is one we have to revere and respect as much as our own, and that is part of what makes this country great,” Obama said about the country’s citizens of other faiths.
The same woman who questioned Obama on his faith also asked him about his views on abortion. Obama said he believes abortions should be “safe, legal, and rare,” and that families, rather than the government, should make the right choice for themselves.
Americans Know Little about Religion
In a recent test measuring knowledge of the Bible, world religions, and what the Constitution has to say about religion in public life, most Americans answered less than 50% of questions correctly, according to cnn.com.
“When it comes to religion, there are many things that Americans are unfamiliar with,” said Greg Smith, one of the authors of the quiz conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Results show that those who did they best were not Bible- belt Southerners, or even evangelicals or Catholics- it was those who claimed to be atheists or agnostics. Smith believes that atheists did so well on the test because they have thought about religion more than others.