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(LEAD) N. Korean media promote hymn to Kim Jong-un
(ATTN: UPDATES with frequency of news coverage of Kim Jong-un in last 3 paras)
SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) --North Korea's state-run media have been playing a new hymn dedicated to the country's leader Kim Jong-un in an apparent effort to reinforce his personality cult and justify the regime's hereditary succession of power.

   The title of the song, "Onwards toward the final victory," is the last phrase of Kim's speech on April 15, which marked the 100th birth anniversary of his grandfather, the country's founding leader Kim Il-sung.

   North Korean media outlets, including the Korean Central Broadcasting Station and Radio Pyongyang, have been playing the hymn several times a day since the Rodong Sinmun, the mouthpiece of the North's ruling Workers' Party, published the score on its front page last Tuesday.

   The broadcasts claim the song is gaining popularity across the nation and generating enthusiastic responses from soldiers, workers and college students.

   It is the first time North Korea has publicly promoted a propaganda song written for Kim since the young leader in his late 20s took power following his father's death in December.

   Another song titled "Footsteps" was released in 2009 in honor of the then heir apparent.

   Meanwhile, Japanese broadcaster NHK said the North Korean media covered Kim's activities in 81 reports in the first six months of this year, three more than the maximum number of times they covered his father's activities over the same period during his lifetime.

   About half of those reports were related to the young leader's activities with the military, including his inspection trips to military bases, NHK quoted the Tokyo-based North Korean news monitor Radiopress as saying.

   The dominance of the military theme is seen as an attempt to show the young Kim continuing the military-first policy of his father.

  (END)
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