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China Recognizes Kim Jong Il’s Son as His Heir Apparent

Dieter Depypere/Bloomberg via Getty Images(BEIJING) -- On the day that his late father's body went on display in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Un received an important boost from North Korea's most important ally.

China announced Tuesday that it would recognize him as the rightful leader of North Korea, replacing his father, Kim Jong Il, who died last Saturday at age 69.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said that his country had faith the North Korean people would unite around "Comrade Kim Jong Un" to build a strong communist country.

Liu also said it was China's hope that the new leader would "realize permanent peace on the Korean peninsula," which threatens to become unstable because of the changing of the guard.

Kim Jong Un would be welcome to visit China when it is convenient for him and Beijing to do so.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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