North Korea marks 10th anniversary of Kim Jong Il's death

Seoul (AFP) – North Korea marked the 10th anniversary of the death of leader Kim Jong Il on Friday with flags at half-mast and three minutes of silence.


Kim Jong Il ruled North Korea for 17 years until his death in December 2011, passing on power to his son Kim Jong Un.

At a square in Pyongyang, people marked the anniversary by bowing their heads in silence before portraits of Kim Jong Il and his father Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea.

People were also seen bowing before a mosaic mural of the two Kims, and leaving flowers at the base on a freezing day in the capital.

Three generations of the Kim family have ruled North Korea since 1948
Three generations of the Kim family have ruled North Korea since 1948 KIM Won Jin AFP

North Korea's tightly controlled state media on Friday ran editorials praising Kim Jong Il's "revolutionary leadership", while urging people to remain devoted to his son.

"With respected leader Kim Jong Un at the centre, we must strengthen our party and revolutionary loyalty," said Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party.

It further stressed that people should adhere "to the ideas and leadership" of Kim Jong Un.

Three generations of the Kim family have ruled the country since 1948.

The country closed its borders last year to guard against the coronavirus but its economy has been badly hit by the self-imposed blockade -- on top of the international sanctions over its weapons programmes.

Kim Jong Un has admitted there are hardships and warned people to prepare for the "worst-ever situation".