North Korea marks Kim Jong-il death

21:29 | 17.12.2013
North Korea marks Kim Jong-il death

North Korea marks Kim Jong-il death

North Korea is marking the second anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong-il, days after the dramatic purge of a top-level official.Images from Pyongyang showed ranks of thousands of officials at a ceremony to commemorate Mr Kim, BBC reported.His son, Kim Jong-un, inherited the leadership after his death in 2011.Last week he presided over the execution of Chang Song-thaek, his uncle and a powerful figure seen by outside observers as his mentor.Mr Chang was accused of multiple crimes, state media said, including forming a power base and attempting to overthrow the state.On Monday, UN Secretary-General Ban Kim-moon described his execution as "very dramatic and surprising".He urged regional nations "while they must be vigilantly and carefully watching the development of situation, not to take any premature actions". Kim Jong-il, who ruled North Korea for almost two decades, died on 17 December 2011.On Tuesday, his third son and chosen successor Kim Jong-un attended a ceremony to mark his father, live images from state television showed.The young leader sat on the podium flanked by North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong-nam, and the head of the army."All our people and soldiers have struggled and achieved victory for the past two years by holding our great leader [Kim Jong-il] in high esteem," Kim Yong-nam said in his speech.It was the late Mr Chang who was thought to have facilitated the transfer of power from father to son two years ago.It was also widely believed that Mr Chang - who was married to the elder Mr Kim's sister - was highly influential behind the scenes and a key advisor to the younger Mr Kim.His sudden fall from grace and rapid execution have sparked fears of instability inside North Korea.On Monday thousands of North Korean soldiers lined up in front of the state mausoleum to pledge their allegiance to Kim Jong-un.The South Korean president, meanwhile, held a meeting of top security officials, warning of possible "provocations" from North Korea in the wake of the purge. ANN.Az
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