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You're reading: North Korea pardons convicts as generals back Kim
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Efforts to show Kim is firmly in control have provided a drumbeat of news reports in state media since his father, Kim Jong Il, died Dec. 17. On Tuesday, the Korean Central News Agency reported that North Korea’s top military officers again swore fervent pledges of loyalty, vowing to become human "rifles and bombs" to defend Kim Jong Un, who was recently appointed as the military’s supreme commander.

The pardons, to be issued beginning Feb. 1, are to commemorate Kim Jong Il’s 70th birthday in February and the 100th anniversary of the birth of his father, North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, in April.

KCNA did not say what sorts of crimes would be pardoned or how many inmates would be freed.

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