SEOUL, Jan. 11 (UPI) — North Korean chief Kim Jong Un was elected common secretary of the ruling Staff’ Occasion of Korea, state media reported Monday, receiving a title that had been held by his deceased father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather, Kim Il Sung.

The transfer got here on Sunday, in the course of the sixth day of a celebration congress, state-run Korean Central Information Company reported. The congress, being held for the primary time since 2016, has mapped out financial, navy and overseas coverage objectives for the subsequent 5 years.

Kim’s election as common secretary mirrored “the unanimous will and need of all of the delegates and different occasion members, all of the folks and repair personnel of the Folks’s Military,” KCNA reported.

The election was greeted with “stormy cheers” and was celebrated as “opening up an period of unprecedented adjustments and miracles with [Kim’s] gifted ideological and theoretical knowledge, extraordinary management and noble ethical advantage,” the KCNA report mentioned.

Kim Jong Un had beforehand held the title of occasion chairman and is known as the “supreme chief” of North Korea. The brand new designation, whereas largely symbolic, locations Kim on the identical stage as his father and grandfather and seems to be a transfer to additional cement his energy atop the reclusive state. He inherited management of North Korea after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in 2011.

Over the weekend, Kim outlined a objective of bolstering North Korea’s defensive capabilities and referred to the US as “our principal enemy.”

“It’s essential to develop the nuclear know-how to a better stage and make nuclear weapons smaller and lighter for extra tactical makes use of,” Kim instructed the occasion congress in a report, KCNA mentioned on Saturday.

The North Korean chief set a objective of having the ability to “strike and annihilate any strategic targets inside a variety of 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles) with pinpoint accuracy.”

Nuclear negotiations between the US and North Korea have been at a standstill since a February 2019 summit that introduced Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump collectively for a second time ended abruptly with out an settlement.

A brand new relationship with Washington “lies within the U.S. withdrawal of its hostile coverage,” Kim mentioned, including that North Korea “would strategy the U.S. on the precept of energy for energy and goodwill for goodwill sooner or later,” in accordance with KCNA.

The messaging from North Korea units the tone for relations simply forward of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, analysts mentioned.

“At first learn it’s an obvious hardline coverage and a continuation of Kim’s political warfare resting on the muse of blackmail diplomacy — the usage of elevated stress, threats, and provocations to achieve political and financial concessions,” retired Col. David Maxwell, senior fellow at Washington, D.C.-based Basis for Protection of Democracies, wrote in an electronic mail.

North Korea does appear keen to barter, Maxwell added, however as equals.

“Kim desires to be handled as a nuclear energy,” Maxwell wrote.

North Korea appeared to carry a navy parade on Sunday night time, South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Workers mentioned on Monday.

“Our navy detected indicators that North Korea held a navy parade associated to the occasion congress at Kim Il-sung Sq. in Pyongyang late at night time yesterday,” the JCS mentioned in a launch, in accordance with information company Yonhap.

“South Korea and U.S. navy authorities are intently following them, together with prospects that the exercise might be a rehearsal,” it added.