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.

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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid