News / Asia

    North Korea Marks 2nd Anniversary of Kim Jong Il's Death

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

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

    One of the speakers was Choe Ryong Hae, the director of the powerful Army General Political Department.

    "As we recall the revolutionary life and indelible achievements of our Generalissimo Kim Jong Il, we are strengthening our will and belief to honor the Great General Kim Jong Un's ideas and military power by obeying his 'military-first' revolutionary policy," said Choe.

    Others also 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 been replacing some of the country's top leaders in an effort to consolidate power.

    • North Korean soldiers march on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang as others pay their respects beneath portraits of the late leaders Kim Jong Il, right, and Kim Il Sung, Dec. 17, 2013.
    • North Koreans lay flowers beneath portraits of the late leaders Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, Dec. 17, 2013.
    • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an event to mark the second anniversary of the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, Dec. 17, 2013.
    • North Koreans offer flowers in front of statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Mansudae hill in Pyongyang, on the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il, Dec. 17, 2013. (KCNA)
    • North Koreans present wreaths and bow in front of portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il as they mourn the second death anniversary of Kim Jong Il at the North Korean embassy in the Chinese border city of Dandong, Dec. 17, 2013.
    • North Korean defectors tear a caricature of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an anti-North Korea rally marking the second anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death, Seoul, Dec. 17, 2013.
    • A portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is burned by protesters during an anti-North Korea rally marking the second anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death, Seoul, Dec. 17, 2013.


    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.

    Kim Kyong Hui, herself a powerful figure, did not appear on stage in videos of the ceremony that appeared on state media. There has been speculation about whether she survived the purge of Jang's associates, some of whom were also executed.

    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 Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora