North Korea to Display Dead Leader’s Body
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said on Thursday that it would place the body of Kim Jong-il on permanent display in a Pyongyang mausoleum and install his statues, portraits and memorial towers across the country.
Mr. Kim, who died on Dec. 17 at age 69, is the second North Korean leader whose embalmed body will be on public display. His father, the North’s founding president, Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994, was embalmed with the help of Russian experts and is in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang.
Mr. Kim’s body will be on display there too, the Politburo of the ruling Workers’ Party said on Thursday in a report carried by the North’s official Korean Central News Agency. There was no indication of how much the impoverished North Korean government planned to spend on the memorials.
The sprawling Kumsusan Palace, its mausoleum lined with expensive marble, is thought to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars, factoring in extensive renovations and an expansion during the 1990s, when tens of thousands of North Korean died of famine. During the same period, bronze statues of Kim Il-sung and “towers of eternal life” in his memory were erected in almost every North Korean city....
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