Kim Jong-il’s body to permanently lie in state, say North Korea officials
Kim’s body will be displayed at Pyongyang’s Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where his father and North Korea founder Kim Il-sung’s embalmed body has been lying since his death in 1994.
The body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il lies in state during his funeral at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang.
Kim Jong-il’s son and successor, Kim Jong-un, has been solidifying power since his father died of a heart attack on Dec 17.
The official Korean Central News Agency said on Thursday that North Korea will also erect a statue of Kim Jong-il, set up portraits of a smiling Kim and build “towers to his immortality” across the country.
Kim died on December 17 of a heart attack at age 69 after 17 years in charge of the impoverished but nuclear-armed nation. His son Kim Jong-un has taken over the leadership.
The ruling communist party, describing the late Kim as its “eternal leader”, announced that his body would lie in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace.
Kim’s corpse was on display at the palace before an elaborate funeral on December 28. The embalmed body of his father, founding President Kim Il-sung, is on view to favoured visitors at the building.
The party, in a report carried by the official news agency, announced plans for a statue to Kim Jong-il. It also said smiling portraits “and towers to his immortality” would be built nationwide.
His birthday on February 16, “the greatest auspicious holiday of the nation”, would be named the Day of the Shining Star, according to the decision made by the political bureau of the party’s central committee.
The late Kims were the subject of a massive personality cult that bestowed near-godlike status on them. Kim Il-sung, whose birthday on April 15 is known as the Day of the Sun, was declared eternal president after his death in 1994.
The North is now burnishing the image of Jong-un, who is aged in his late 20s.