Tens of thousands of military and civilian mourners crowded in Kim Il-sung Square in the North Korean capital of Pyonyang on Thursday, AFP reports. A large-scale public memorial for the late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il culminated two weeks of official mourning. The ceremony included tributes to the late leader by ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, who declared Kim Jong-un, son of Kim Jong-il, “the supreme leader of our party and army and people,” had inherited his late father’s spirit, leadership, personality, morality and fortitude. Kim Jong-un was featured prominently in a three-hour funeral procession through the icy streets of Pyonyang, which North Korea’s state news agency claims drew millions of mourners. Observers viewed the ceremony as a signal of a smooth transition of power to Kim Jong-un, who remains a largely unknown quantity.
Thursday, December 29, 2011