Key dates in the rise of North Korea's young new leader, Kim Jong Un:
_ Jan. 8, 1983: Kim Jong Un is believed to have been born to leader Kim Jong Il and Ko Yong Hui. His exact birth date has not been made public.
_ Sept. 27, 2010: Kim Jong Un is promoted to four-star general. The promotion is announced the following day in North Korean state media _ the first public mention of Kim Jong Un.
_ Sept. 28, 2010: Kim Jong Un is named vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the ruling Workers' Party, a leadership role seen as confirmation that he will become the country's next leader.
_ Oct. 10, 2010: Kim Jong Un appears at his father's side for a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party.
_ Dec. 17, 2011: Kim Jong Il dies of a heart attack at age 69, but the news is not made public for two days.
_ Dec. 19, 2011: Kim's death is announced in a noon broadcast on state television. North Korea begins observing 11 days of official mourning. Kim Jong Un's name appears first on the list of the National Funeral Committee, and he is called "Great Successor" by state media.
_ Dec. 20, 2011: Kim Jong Un, accompanied by top military and party officials, visits his father's bier at Kumsusan Memorial Palace.
_ Dec. 24, 2011: Kim Jong Un is called "supreme leader" of the Korean People's Army.
_ Dec. 26, 2011: Kim Jong Un is identified as head of a top decision-making body of the Workers' Party.
_ Dec. 28, 2011: Funeral procession held for Kim Jong Il through Pyongyang, led by Kim Jong Un.
_ Dec. 29, 2011: Kim Jong Un declared "supreme leader" of party, military and the people during memorial for Kim Jong Il.
_ Dec. 30, 2011: Kim Jong Un called "great leader" in statement from National Defense Commission. New postage stamps feature Kim Jong Un with Kim Jong Il.
_ Dec. 31, 2011: Kim Jong Un named supreme commander of Korean People's Army under Oct. 8 order of Kim Jong Il, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
_ Jan. 1, 2012: Kim Jong Un visits historic tank division for first solo inspection trip.
_ Jan. 3, 2012: Tens of thousands attend a rally in Pyongyang supporting Kim Jong Un. First official documentary of Kim Jong Un airs on North Korean state television.