Seoul: North Korea urged its people on Sunday to defend new leader Kim Jong-Un to the death, in a New Year newspaper editorial published by the state media setting out policy for 2012.
   
"The whole party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong-Un unto death, and follow the great party forever," it said.
   
Jong-Un, in his late 20s, was proclaimed the "great Successor" after his father Kim Jong-Il died on December 17, and last week was formally appointed supreme commander of the 1.2-million-strong armed forces.
   
The North, closing ranks publicly behind its new chief, has warned the world not to expect policy changes.
   
Newspaper editorial called for strengthening of country’s Armed Forces but said Pyongyang will "strive to develop relations of friendship with countries that respect our country's sovereignty".
   
It did not repeat threats of retaliation against South Korea made on Friday and Saturday for perceived insults during the mourning period for Kim Jong-Il.
   
The editorial in one of the papers of ruling communist party  newspaper and other papers stressed the role of the party, which was sidelined by Kim senior in favor of the military?
   
"To achieve victory in (the) general advance for this year is necessary to strengthen the party and enhance its leadership role to the maximum," it said.
   
The North has set the goal of becoming a "powerful and Prosperous" nation this year, which marks the 100th Anniversary of the birth of founding president Kim Il-Sung -- Grandfather of the current leader.

(Agencies)