News / Asia

In North Korea, Millions Mourn Death of 'Dear Leader'

Pyongyang citizens grieve as they visit a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on display in the plaza of the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, December 21, 2011.
Pyongyang citizens grieve as they visit a portrait of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on display in the plaza of the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, December 21, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

North Korea appeared calm Wednesday as the nation mourned the death of Kim Jong Il, and continued the transition of leadership to his son, Kim Jong Un.

North Korean state media say millions of people turned out to pay their respects at statues and portraits of the late "Dear Leader."

In Beijing, Chinese leaders, including Premier Wen Jiabo, visited the North Korean embassy on Wednesday to offer their condolences.

Chinese President Hu Jintao made a similar visit a day earlier, in what is seen as Beijing's effort to reassure Pyongyang of its continuing support.

In a further endorsement Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Beijing expects the North Korean people to rally around their new leader.

Special Report - North Korea: Looking Inside

Meanwhile, along the heavily militarized Korean border, South Korean activists and defectors launched balloons containing tens of thousands of propaganda leaflets opposing the hereditary succession of leadership in the north.

North Korean defector Park Sang Hak said North Koreans should try and liberate themselves during this period of transition.

"We gathered here to send our messages to the 20 million North Korean people who are taking this crucial opportunity to be freed from the dictatorship. The message is the three-generation succession of power is not acceptable and North Korean people should stop it with their own will,'' Park said.

Some of the leaflets had an image of Kim next to pictures of former dictators Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gadhafi.

North Korean state media are urging citizens to rally around Kim Jong Un, referring to the young leader as the "great successor" and the "pillar of our people."

Official media reported early Monday that Kim Jong Il, 69, died of a heart attack Saturday while traveling by train on one of his "field guidance" tours. The agency attributed his death to "physical and mental overwork."  

The body of the senior Kim is lying in state in a glass encasement near the embalmed body of his father, North Korean founding leader Kim Il Sung, who died in 1994.

Kim Jong Il's funeral will be held on December 28, near the end of a period of national mourning.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

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.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid