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A day after naming Kim Jong-Un leader of its army, North Korea welcomed the New Year with a haunting message about how its citizens would serve as "human shields" to protect its new leader "unto death." Sent out on Sunday, the message also vowed to "launch an all-out drive" to propel North Korea into prosperity, says the Associated Press, the first and only Western media outlet with an offically sanctioned bureau in Pyongyang. The country plans for 2012 are otherwise unclear, but with Kim Jong-Un's rapid ascent to power following his father's death two weeks ago, experts are nervous. "Kim Jong-un, as he is now, doesn’t hold as much leadership and authority as his father did, so he must hurry to declare at home and to the world that he is the top man in his country," one researcher told The New York Times on Saturday. "And the first institution he must have control of is the military, which is key to protecting power." In North Korea, it appears that the very notion of power is now synonymous with the dear leader's favorite son.

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