Kim Jong Un celebrates the 10th anniversary of his father’s death

People attend an oath ceremony ahead of the 10th anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang, North Korea, December 16, 2021 by North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA / via REUTERS

Por Josh Smith

SEOUL, Dec 17 (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un commemorated the 10th anniversary of the death of his father and predecessor on Friday, attending a high-ranking ceremony at a palace where his body lay on the ground, as people throughout the country celebrated commemorations.

Kim Jong Il, the second of the Kim family dynasty, ruled North Korea for 17 years until his death on December 17, 2011. State media at the time did not report his death until two days later.

On Friday, state television broadcasts showed people observing several moments of silence and bowing before portraits and statues of Kim Jong Il. Other images showed the sound of anti-aircraft sirens and car horns.

His son, leader Kim Jong Un, was shown with hundreds of senior officials at a ceremony outside the Kumsusan Sun Palace in the capital Pyongyang, where the bodies of Kim Jong Il and his father, the founding leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung, lie under glass.

The newspapers – all strictly controlled by the North Korean government – carried articles praising Kim Jong Un.

Under Kim Jong Il, North Korea suffered a widespread famine in the 1990s and, upon coming to power, his son vowed that citizens would never have to tighten their belts again.

Yet after ten years in office, Kim Jong Un faces widespread economic trouble, sparked by international sanctions imposed by North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, natural disasters, and self-imposed anti-pandemic border closures. , which have reduced trade to a minimum.

(Additional information from Yeni Seo; Editing by Robert Birsel, translated by José Muñoz in the Gdansk newsroom)

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