Kim's body on display, son visits

  • Tue Dec 20th 2011

The body of longtime North Korea ruler Kim Jong Il is on display in a glass coffin surrounded by red flowers at a memorial palace in the country's capital.

His son, Kim Jong Un, was among the first to pay respects -- an indication that a smooth leadership transition is under way.

It's a second day of mourning by North Koreans, who learned yesterday that Kim had died over the weekend. Flags are at half-staff at all military units, factories, farms and public buildings.

The streets of the capital are quiet, but throngs of people gathered at landmarks honoring Kim.

Outside one of the capital's main performance centers, mourners carried wreaths and flowers toward a portrait of Kim. Groups were allowed to grieve in front of the portrait for a few minutes at a time.

The announcement of Kim's death raised concerns in the region over the possibility of a power struggle involving his untested son. But there are no signs of unrest or discord. Since his death, state media have stepped up their lavish praise of his son, indicating an effort to build a cult of personality around him similar to that of his father and grandfather.

A state funeral is set for next Wednesday, to be followed by a national memorial service the next day.

AP

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