December 29th, 2011
01:04 AM ET

Thousands of North Koreans gather for Kim Jong Il memorial

Huge crowds assembled in Pyongyang on Thursday at a national memorial service for the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the second day of state-orchestrated ceremonies to mourn the dictator who died earlier this month.

The authoritarian regime used a mixture of somber music, hyperbolic speeches, booming artillery fire and blaring horns to honor the man who oversaw 17 years of despotic rule in the secretive nation.

The ceremony took place a day after a funeral procession for Kim spent three hours winding through the snow-laden streets of Pyongyang lined with thousands of wailing mourners.

Once again, the regime placed Kim Jong Un, the son and chosen successor of Kim Jong Il, at the center of proceedings, proclaiming him the "supreme leader" of North Korea - a fresh indication that the leadership transition is progressing smoothly.

The footage broadcast Thursday by North Korean state television showed thick rectangular blocks of people gathered in the snowy expanse of Kim Il Sung Square - named after Kim Jong Il's father, the founder of North Korea.

Kim Jong Un and other senior members of the regime stood solemnly on a viewing platform overlooking the square.

During the ceremony, a string of top officials took to the microphone to praise Kim Jong Il's life and reinforce Kim Jong Un's leadership credentials.

"Kim Jong Un is the greatest leader who has inherited Kim Jong Il's beliefs, leadership, courage and guts," said Kim Yong Nam, the president of the North Korean parliament.

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Filed under: North Korea • World
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. gung hoe

    Thousands gatheq while millions wait to dance on his happey mound or grave

    December 29, 2011 at 2:59 am | Report abuse |
  2. رأفت طنينه

    Read The News In The Middle East .... Hot articles ... اقرأ اخر المقالات السياسية في الشرق الاوسط ..... _

    December 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. رأفت طنينه

    Read Hot articles In The Middle East .... ‎‏ اقرأ اخر المقالات السياسية في الشرق الاوسط .. .

    December 29, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andreas Moser

    I hope the next dictator Kim dies sooner.

    December 29, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike Horn

    Communist China has much in common with their N.Korean comrades ...

    December 29, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike Horn

    Communist China is just as brutal as their North Korean comrades regarding human rights abuse:

    – human rights abuse

    – torture


    Torture of detainees is endemic in Chinese detention centers and prisons. Although China became party to the UN Convention Against Torture in 1988, the government has not taken effective measures to diminish the risk of prisoners being tortured or ill-treated. Despite strong evidence of torture in several cases of death in custody, state prosecutors have refused to release autopsy results to families or to initiate investigations. In many detention centers, beatings, inadequate food and poor hygiene appear to be a routine part of the process of eliciting confessions and compliance from detainees. Such treatment is applied to ordinary prisoners as well as political detainees.

    According to prisoner reports, methods commonly used by guards include: beatings using electric batons; rubber truncheons on hands and feet; long periods in handcuffs and/or leg irons, often tightened so as to cause pain; restriction of food to starvation levels; and long periods in solitary confinement. Furthermore, corrupt authorities at detention centers, prisons and labor camps have extorted large sums of money from families of detainees for the state's provision of "daily supplies" and "medical expenses."

    Despite continuing efforts by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations, PRC officials have not agreed to allow open and unannounced visits to prisoners. PRC authorities acknowledge that there are some 1.2 million prisoners and detainees in China.

    December 29, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. _______

    So what if they torture innocent civilians? They sure can make one hell of a cheap cell phone.

    January 2, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Francis

    Who even is this Kim person?! I keep hearing about her but I dont know who she is. Was she important?

    January 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |