Shades of NKorea's founder in its young new leader

January 7, 2012 - 3:11 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The resemblance is striking: the full cheeks and quick smile, the confident gait, the habit of gesturing with both hands when he speaks.

North Korea's young new leader, Kim Jong Un, appears to be fashioning himself as the reincarnation of Kim Il Sung, his grandfather and the nation's founder. He's trying to solidify his hold on the nation of 24 million in the wake of his father's death last month.

Kim Jong Il sequestered himself for three years of mourning before formally taking up the mantle of leadership. But Kim Jong Un is moving swiftly to demonstrate a decisiveness perhaps aimed at dispelling concerns about his ability to rule. He is only in his late 20s and made his public debut as his father's anointed successor just 15 months ago.