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Situation in Pyongyang calm after Kim Jong Il demise

December 20, 2011, 8:09 UTC+3

The news of the death of their leader took unawares many Koreans, people do not hide the tears of bitterness

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PYONGYANG, December 20 (Itar-Tass) — One day after the DPRK radio and television announced news about the death of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il the situation in Pyongyang and other cities of the country remains calm. Offices are working, shops, filling stations are open and consumer and welfare services are operating.

In order to express their grief, many residents of Pyongyang, the same as on Monday, went to the Mansudae Hill where a 36-metre high statue of President Kim Il Sung is located, gathered at the mosaics devoted to the activities of Kim Jong Il, who died on December 17 because of “extreme physical and mental fatigue.” The news of the death of their leader took unawares many Koreans, people do not hide the tears of bitterness.

The country’s radio and television stations continue to broadcast the funeral music, military marches and popular patriotic songs glorifying the “immortal merits” of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, funeral reports from all over the country. “The Internationale” anthem frequently sounds. A portrait of Kim Jong Il in a mourning frame periodically appears on TV, images, illustrating different periods of his life are shown.

Itar-Tass has learnt that the heads of diplomatic missions in Pyongyang, as well as military attaches have been invited to visit the Kumsusan Memorial Palace on Tuesday within the mourning events. By decision of the State Commission of the funeral, which is headed by the Kim Jong Il’s successor Kim Jong Un - the youngest son of the deceased DPRK head, Kim Jong Il’s body will lie in state in Kumsusan. A sarcophagus with Kim Il Sung’s body is in this memorial complex.

Kumsusan Memorial Palace, sometimes referred to as the Kim Il Sung Mausoleum, is a building located northeast of downtown Pyongyang. The palace is the former official residence and office of North Korea's president and founder, Kim Il Sung. Following Kim Il Sung’s death in 1994, his son and successor Kim Jong Il had the building renovated and transformed into his father's final resting place. Inside the palace, Kim Il Sung’s embalmed body lies viewable inside a clear glass sarcophagus. His head rests on a Korean-style pillow and he is covered by the flag of the Workers Party of Korea.

According to earlier reports, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il will be buried on December 28. His youngest son and successor Kim Jong Un will chair the funeral commission, the Korean Central Television reported on Monday. The KCTV also made public the list of the commission’s members that includes 232 people representing the country’s elite.

Kim’s body will be placed in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, where his father Kim Il Sung’s embalmed body lies. The official mourning for Kim Jong Il will last from December 27 to December 29. The funeral will take place in Pyongyang on December 28. According to media reports, foreign delegations will be invited to pay their last tribute to the North Korean leader.

North Korea’s party members and servicemen were informed about their leader’s death last Saturday.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, the Workers’ Party of Korea, the Central Military Commission, the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly and the Cabinet prepared for them a special statement.

The official reports about Kim Jong Il’s death were made public by TV and radio broadcasters at 12:00 local time (07:00 Moscow time) only on Monday. Kim Jong Il died on December 17 of heart ailment due to mental and physical strain.




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