DPRK holds memorial service for late leader

Updated: 2011-12-29 12:28


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DPRK holds memorial service for late leader

A view of People gathering during the memorial for late DPRK leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang, in this still image taken from video December 29, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]


PYONGYANG - A national memorial service was held at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang Thursday to mourn the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s late leader Kim Jong-il.

TV images show a huge military memorial parade was held in the capital city, and tens of thousands of people were seen on the square.

At the same time, large numbers of Pyongyang residents gathered outside landmark buildings such as the April 25 House of Culture and Pyongyang Railway Station to listen to the broadcast of the ceremony.

"Kim Jong-un, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and supreme leader of the party, state and army of the country, took the platform," the state news agency KCNA said.

Choe Thae-bok, secretary of the Central Committee of the WPK and chairman of the DPRK's Supreme People's Assembly, hosted the ceremony.

After a performance of the "Song of General Kim Jong-il," Kim Yong-nam, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the WPK and president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly, delivered a memorial speech.

He said Kim Jong-il's death represents the biggest loss to the party and the state, and has brought unimaginable sorrow to the nation and its people.

Under the leadership of Kim Jong-un, the DPRK should turn sorrow into strength and courage and overcome the present difficulties and work harder for another great victory of the Juche revolution, he said.

Then Kim Ki-nam, secretary of the Central Committee of the WPK, made a speech. He said the DPRK would thoroughly carry out Kim Jong-il's faith of "never make concession and shake" under the leadership of Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-gak, first vice-director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People's Army (KPA), delivered a speech on behalf of the KPA.

At 11:50 am Pyongyang time (0250 GMT), Choe Thae-bok announced the end of the ceremony. Around noon local time, cannon salvos were fired as mourners bowed their heads and observed a three-minute silence in memory of Kim Jong-il.

At the same time, locomotives and ships (those on voyage included) blew their whistles, and those units with sirens sounded them all at once.

On Wednesday, the DPRK held a state funeral for the leader, who died from "great mental and physical strain" on a train during a field guidance tour on December 17.

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