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NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER NO. 270 (July 11, 2013)

All Headlines 10:38 July 11, 2013

*** TOPIC OF THE WEEK (Part 2)

North Korea Heightens 'Memorial Fever' of Late Leader Kim Il-sung

SEOUL (Yonhap) -- North Korea on July 8 marked the 19th anniversary of its founder's death with the country's leadership, people and media all paying respects to Kim Il-sung. Amid deepening economic plight, North Korea held "remembrance" rallies and various commemorative events across the country while its state media mobilized to carry lavish coverage of Kim, depicting him as the "eternal leader" as a means of boosting the personality cult on the founder of the country.

Kim, who founded the communist country in 1948, laid the foundation of the state before his death in July 8, 1994. He is immortalized in the North and remains the "Eternal President of the Republic" even after his death.

Highlighting the importance of the day, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, the founder's grandson, paid homage to Kim's remains at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang along with senior military officers at the stroke of midnight.

Kim's visit to the mausoleum marks the second in less than three months since April 25, the founding day of the (North) Korean People's Army (KPA).

The day was also marked by editorials and articles carried by such media outlets as the (North) Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea (WPK), which called on the people to defend and adhere to the patriotism, philosophy and achievements of the founder.

The KCNA said, "Kim Jong-un, the first secretary of the WPK, first chairman of the National Defense Commission (NDC) and supreme commander of the KPA, visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang to pay tribute to Generalissimos Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il at midnight on July 8, the greatest memorial day of the nation."

The KCNA said papers stress that the president was the peerless patriot, prominent elder statesman and father of socialist Korea who achieved undying feats before the country and people with his profound ideology and theory, rare leadership ability and gigantic revolutionary practice.

Rodong Sinmun said Kim's idea and exploits serve as the driving power helping the DPRK dignified with independence make a dynamic advance along the road of prosperity, demonstrating its might by dint of Songun (military-first) politics.

The paper said the feats performed by President Kim Il-sung will be praised along with the development of the human cause of independence.

The paper said the greatest exploit made by him for the country and revolution is that he provided a sure guarantee for successfully carrying forward and completing the revolutionary cause of Juche generation after generation, justifying the hereditary succession of power for three generations on to Kim Jong-un.

The paper carried seven color photos of Kim Il-sung taken during the 1980s and 1990s on the entire second page. The paper has carried Kim's photos and stories about him from the beginning of July, introducing him as a benevolent leader of the people and a prominent and devoted revolutionist.

Minju Joson, the government paper of North Korea, stressed that "very bright and rosy is the future of the Korean revolution, which advances under the leadership of the dear respected Kim Jong-un, holding the President (Kim Il-sung) and leader Kim Jong-il as the sun of Juche and Songun in high esteem."

More stories eulogizing the founder were carried the next day. The KCNA said on July 9 President Kim gave field guidance to a great number of farms to boost the country's grain output and rendered active assistance to developing countries in separate stories.

Besides calls for loyalty and remembrance, memorial services and events celebrating Kim's achievements took place all across the country, sponsored by the military, youth and women's groups.

The KCNA said senior officials of the party and state, chairpersons of friendly parties and party officials, armed forces and power organs, working people's organizations, ministries and national institutions visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on July 8, the greatest memorial day of the nation, to pay homage to President Kim Il-sung and leader Kim Jong-il.

Diplomatic envoys of different countries, representatives of international organizations and the military attaches corps in Pyongyang also visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun to pay tribute to Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il on the 19th anniversary of demise of Kim Il-sung.

An endless stream of service personnel, people from all walks of life, and youth and students visited the park in the plaza of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the 19th anniversary of demise of Kim Il-sung, the KCNA said.

Floral tribute was paid to the statues of President Kim Il-sung in different parts of the country on the occasion of the 19th anniversary of his demise. Service personnel, people from all walks of life, and school youth and children visited statues of Kim Il-sung and leader Kim Jong-il on Mansu Hill in Pyongyang and paid the highest tribute to them.

Pyongyang, meanwhile, claimed condolences flowed in from such countries as Russia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Nepal and Ethiopia while papers and radio services of various countries carried special write-ups and made special reports to commemorate the 19th anniversary of demise of Kim.

North Korea also held various concerts and performances, including a remembrance concert, "The Leader Will Always Be with Us," given by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Moranbong Theatre in Pyongyang on July 8.

North Korea also will likely place an emphasis on propagandizing Kim Il-sung's feats during its performance of "Arirang" mass gymnastics to begin later this month although this year's performance is titled to commemorate the 60th anniversary of "the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War."

The grand gymnastic and artistic performance "Arirang," a winner of the Kim Il-sung Prize, will be given here as part of galas to mark the 65th birthday of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and the 60th anniversary of the Korean people's victory in the Korean War (June 25, 1950-July 27, 1953), the KCNA said, adding that the performance will begin at May Day Stadium on July 22.

"The upcoming performance will focus on the undying feats President Kim Il-sung performed in winning the Fatherland Liberation War against the U.S. imperialist aggressors who boasted of being 'the strongest' in the world," the KCNA quoted Kim Kum-ryong, the chief director of the state preparatory committee for the performance, as saying.

"It will also feature the feats performed by leader Kim Jong-il to turn the DPRK into a satellite manufacturing and launching state, and a nuclear state as well as the achievements scored in the country under the leadership of the Workers' Party of Korea," Kim Kum-ryong told the KCNA.

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