The body of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il will be placed on permanent display at a palace also housing the embalmed body of his father (photo, from ouest-france.fr) in Pyongyang, the country’s capital.
“Great leader Kim Jong-il will be preserved to look the same as when he was alive, at Kumsusan Memorial Palace,” the official KCNA news agency reported.
The body of Kim’s father, North Korea’s founding president Kim Il-sung, is already on view to favoured visitors to the building which was his home and was converted into a mausoleum after his death. He was embalmed with the help of a Russian team which still visits North Korea to renew the embalming, a process that takes about a month.
After his death in 1994, Kim Il-sung was declared North Korea’s eternal president.
Quoting a decision from the ruling communist party, which described Kim Jong-il as its “eternal leader”, KCNA said a bronze statue of their late leader would be erected.
The official news agency also said that smiling portraits “and towers to his immortality” would be built nationwide and his birthday on February 16, “the greatest auspicious holiday of the nation”, would be named the Day of the Shining Star.
Kim Jong-il died in December of a heart attack at age 69. His body was put on display at the palace before his funeral on December 28.
His son Kim Jong-un, who is in his late 20s, has been declared “supreme leader of party, army and people” and formally appointed as military chief.
On Monday troops held a rally outside the memorial palace in order to pledge loyalty to their new leader.