North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited the mausoleum of his father, Kim Jong-il, and grandfather Kim Il-sung on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the country’s ruling party, the North’s state media said Thursday.
Kim visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang and extended “deep respect and the best wishes” to the statues of the two former leaders of the communist regime, according to the Korean Central News Agency.
|North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and ranking officials visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the country’s ruling party founding on Thursday. (Yonhap)|
Baskets of flowers were dedicated to the statues in the name of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, added the KCNA.
He was accompanied by Choe Ryong-hae, Pak Kwang-ho, Ri Man-gon, Kim Yo-jong, Ri Jae-il and other officials from the organizational leadership department and the information and publicity department of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, the KCNA said.
Choe, the North’s de facto No. 2 official, is known to head the organizational department, and Kim’s younger sister, Yo-jong, and Pak are part of the party’s propaganda department. Their affiliations are rarely mentioned in detail in the North’s media.
The North appears to have celebrated the party’s founding anniversary, which fell Wednesday, with reports of Kim Jong-un focusing on economic development and visiting the newly renovated Samjiyon Orchestra Theater in Pyongyang.
On Oct. 10, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the party’s founding, the North carried out a military parade and showcased its intercontinental ballistic missiles. Kim Jong-un also made a public speech on that day.
This is believed to be Kim Jong-un’s second visit to the mausoleum this year, following a visit Sept. 9 to mark the 70th anniversary of the regime’s foundation. The North’s nominal head of state, Kim Yong-nam, accompanied him on the September visit.
Kim has rarely visited the palace since he took power in late 2011. His visit last month was his first in six years, and only ranking officials visited the palace between 2013 and 2016.
Inside the palace, Kim Il-sung’s embalmed body lies inside a clear glass sarcophagus. His head rests on a Korean-style pillow and he is covered by the flag of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Kim Jong-il lies in state in a room close to his father’s remains and is positioned in a very similar way.
By Jung Min-kyung (firstname.lastname@example.org)