North Korea Commemorates 6th Anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s Death

Many North Koreans marched up Pyongyang’s Mansu Hill Grand Monument bearing flowers on Sunday as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the death of its late leader and father of Kim Jong-un, Kim Jong-il.

Image via Wikimedia Commons / Nicor (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Civilians as well as soldiers paid their respects at Mansu Hill Grand Monument, where the large bronze statue of Kim Jong-il stands alongside his father and the nation’s founder, Kim Il-sung, who is also regarded as North Korea’s “eternal president”.

Image via Wikimedia Commons / Romain75020 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Large sets of flowers were placed at the two statues’ feet as music played in the freezing weather of North Korea. Both civilians and soldiers bowed their head simultaneously as a sign of respect for their two late leaders, as seen in the video provided by the country’s official news agency KCNA, Channel NewsAsia reported.

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Meanwhile, military officials visited a mausoleum on the outskirts of Pyongyang where the body of Kim Il-sung lies, the country’s news agency reported.

During the annual commemoration, North Koreans are highly discouraged to participate in drinking, show inappropriate display of enjoyment or even indulge in any other form of entertainment before and on the day of mourning, according to Fox News.

Kim Jong-il (Image via Wikimedia Commons / Joseph Ferris III (CC BY 2.0))

Born on Feb. 16, 1941, Kim Jong-il began his rise to power between 1971 and 1980 when his father, Kim Il-sung, appointed him to more important positions in the Korean Workers’ Party, according to his biography.

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Kim Jong-il took the reigns of power following the death of his father in July 1994. On Dec. 17, 2011, the late leader died of a heart attack at the age of 69. He reportedly already had several health problems years before his passing, including a stroke in 2008.

According to Newsweek, countries around the world are increasingly worried as millions of North Koreans mourn their dead leaders. North Korea is known for testing out missiles to commemorate special occasions in the country, especially events such as this one.

Featured Image Screenshot via Facebook / Channel NewsAsia

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