News / Asia

North Korea Commemorates Anniversary of Kim Jong Il's Death

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, attends an event to mark the second anniversary of the death of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Dec. 17, 2013.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, attends an event to mark the second anniversary of the death of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea, Dec. 17, 2013.
VOA News
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un led events commemorating the second anniversary of his father's death Tuesday, just days after the execution of an uncle who was thought to be his mentor and second in command.

Kim joined other top military and political leaders at a somber memorial service at a Pyongyang auditorium, where an image of his father, ex-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, hung on stage.

Some speakers pledged unwavering loyalty to the Kim dynasty, promising to protect the country with their lives and saying that the country has made progress since the younger Kim took over.

The elder Kim died unexpectedly in December 2011, leaving power to his young and inexperienced son, who has recently been replacing some of the country's top leaders in an effort to consolidate power.

Last week, Pyongyang announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, a powerful figure who had been viewed as a mentor to the younger Kim following his father's death.

Jang, who was married to Kim Jong Il's sister Kim Kyong Hui, was accused of trying to overthrow the state, along with a series of other abuses, such as corruption, womanizing and drug use.

Many disagree about what the development means for the notoriously secretive North Korean leadership, but most Korea watchers were surprised at Pyongyang's acknowledgement of dissension within its ranks.

North Korea's neighbors, meanwhile, are watching closely for possible military provocations from the North. South Korean defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said Tuesday said it is "highly likely" that Pyongyang will do this between late January and early March.

"They may try to partially strengthen the sole leadership with the reign of terror, but anxiety of North Korean people and other power groups will grow. Making a military provocation is a conventional way to relive the anxiety," said Kim.

North Korea has already conducted three nuclear weapons tests in recent years, and held several long-range missile launches, both of which are banned by United Nations sanctions.

You May Like

Video British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Multimedia Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid