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Geopolitics

In Reshuffle, North Korea's Supreme Leader Just Got Even More Supreme

BLOOMBERG, KCNA (North Korea)

Worldcrunch

Two days after the surprise departure of the army chief, North Korea's Supreme leader Kim Jong-un is furthering his grip on the military by adding a new title to an already long list of honors.

A statement by state-run news agency KCNA announced that ""A decision was made to award the title of Marshal of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to Kim Jong-un, supreme commander of the Korean People's Army," following days of reshuffling at the highest levels of the military. (see full statement below)

State media said on Wednesday morning that there was "Important News to Be Reported (Urgent)," prompting much speculation – and some trolling – around Twitter:

South Korea has no comment on Kim Jong-un's promotion as it is a domestic matter, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung Suk told Bloomberg. South Korean President Lee Myung Bak held a national security meeting this morning to discuss developments in North Korea, according to a statement on the presidential website -- the two countries technically remain at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended without a peace treaty.

The "titles' category in Kim Jong-un's curriculum vitae already includes First Chairman of the National Defense Commission, First Secretary of the Workers' Party, Chairman of the party's Central Military Commission, Member of the Presidium of the party's Political Bureau and Supreme commander of the Korean People's Army.

Others, we can imagine, are on their way.

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Geopolitics

China v. India: A New Twist In Asia's "Billion Club" Rivalry

The news that China's population has shrunk for the first time in 60 years, comes as India appears to be outperforming its giant neighbor on a number of fronts. But this would be reversal of fortune still has too many variables to predict the demise of one or the rise of the other.

Photo of a crowded street in Hyderabad, India

Street scene in Hyderabad, India

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — China and India have at least one notable feature in common: the Asian giants are the only two countries in the world with a population above one billion. Yet Beijing announced this week that China has registered its first decline in number of inhabitants after 60 years of continuous expansion. This comes as India’s population continues to grow — on the path to overtake China as the world's most populous country.

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