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 Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid