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Ceremony to pay last respects to Kim Jong Il begins in Pyongyang

December 28, 2011, 6:54 UTC+3

The first phase of the ceremony takes place at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace

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PYONGYANG, December 28 (Itar-Tass) — After eleven days of mourning events in view of the December 17 unexpected demise of Kim Jong Il, the main ceremony -- visitation -- marking the parting with the Leader of the Democratic Pepple's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will be held here on Wednesday.

By a decision of the State Commission for Funeral Arrangements, foreign delegations are not allowed to be present at visitation. The Commission is headed by Kim Jong Un, the youngest son of the deceased.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps, including the staff members of the Embassy of Russia, and staff of international humanitarian organizations functioning here, as well as correspondents of Itar-Tass, the Chinese news agency Xinhua, the newspaper Renmin Ribao, and the Central Television Network of the People's Republic of China received invitations to participate in the ceremony.

Foreigners will be brought by bus from the Sports Palace to the place of the ceremony for them to be able to pay last respects to the person who will remain for ever in the minds of the Koreans as ever-living. The ceremony, most likely, will take place in the central square named after Kim Il Sung. It has not been reported whether the local television will broadcast live the ceremony taking place in the square.

As far as foreign television networks are concernd, the authoritis of the DPRK promise to provide them with video materials relating to Wednesday's forthcoming ceremony which may continue for several hours.

On Thursday, December 29, final meetings in parting with Kim Jong Il will be held all over the country. At noon, local time, gun salvoes will be fired and the people will venerate the memory of the gone Leader by three minutes of silence.

The coffin with the body of Kim Jong Il was placed at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, the place of the tomb of his father Kim Il Sung, the founder of the country.

According to a medical report issued here, Kim Jong Il died aboard the railway train owing to "physical and mental overstrain, caused by incessant inspection tours of the country". An official communique about his death was issued only on December 19.

All people of two-million-strong Pyongyang, including the inmates of kindergartens and school pupils, on the days of mourning paid last respects to their Leader at the Kumsusan memorial complex, as well as in front of the portraits of Kim Jong Il in the squares and streets, in the grounds of industrial enterprises, military units, state institutions, and educational establishments.

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