Kim Jong-il north korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (L) walks in front of his youngest son Kim Jong-un (R) as they watch a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. Picture taken October 10, 2010. Reuters

In one week, North Korea will celebrate the 85th anniversary of the founding of The Down-with-Imperialism Union by Kim Il-sung, the father of the country's current leader Kim Jong-il.

But the current focus in the Democratic People’s Republic is not on the current father, but on the son, Kim Jong-un -- the North Korean heir-apparent.

Kim Jong-un burst onto the international spotlight last year when he was made a four-star general and the vice chairman of the Communist Party's military commission. Since then, Kim has been pushed into the public's consciousnesses in North Korea, where he is depicted as an intelligent, strong-willed future leader.

He is now performing the role of successor, Yoo Ho-yeol, a professor at Korea University in South Korea, told The Associated Press. He has virtually cemented his status as the next leader.

North Korea has done this by propping up Kim Jong-un in the media. He reportedy takes the helm of the country when Kim Jong-il is away on official state trips and he is also said to be in control of the military.

He has been credited with ordering the missile attacks on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong that killed four people in November 2010.

On Monday, Kim Jong-un was seen sitting next to his father during a Party Foundation Day military parade, the holiday celebrating the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea.

There have also been poems and lyrical ballads composed to praise his Kim Jong-un's leadership abilities, and the government has printed 10 million official portraits of him, according to BBC.

The images could very well hang beside those of his father and grandfather soon.

In September, Kim Jong-un made a rare public appearance with his father at a military parade in Pyongyang's central square. The festivities in the North Korean capital marked the 63rd anniversary of the country's founding by Kim Jong-il's father, Kim Il-sung.

The two men stood applauding as troops marched in a procession in the center of Pyongyang. A huge crowd gathered to see the parade and spectators cheered and waved pink flowers beneath giant hanging images of Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung.

Kim Jong-un, who attended school in Switzerland, is thought to be in his late 20s, although his exact age is unknown. He has two older brothers, Kim Jong-chol and Kim Jong-nam. Kim Jong-chol was appointed deputy chief of a division of the Workers' Party in 2007, but is thought to have been passed over as the next supreme ruler by his younger brother.