Kim Jong-il
North Korea's strongman Kim Jong-il grumbled against South Korean government earlier this year, when four of 31 North Korean escapees declined to go home. Kim maintained the four were forced by the South Korean government to stay. Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il appeared alongside his son, Kim Jong-un at a military parade in Pyongyang's central square. Kim Jong-un is the North Korean heir-apparent, and the rare public appearance with his father is a further sign that he's being groomed for a top leadership role.

The parade in the North Korean capital marked the 63rd anniversary of the country's founding by Kim Jong-il's father, Kim Il-sung.

Kim Jong-un was made a four-star general and the vice chairman of the Communist Party's military commission last year.

On Friday, 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-il and Kim Jong-un also visited the tomb of the North Korean founder together earlier on Friday, according to Voice of America.

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.

According to reports, the propagandist campaign for Kim Jong-un has already begun. There have been poems and lyrical ballads composed to praise his leadership abilities, and 10 million official portraits of Kim Jong-un are being printed, according to BBC. The images could very well hang beside those of his father and grandfather soon.