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(5th LD) N. Korean leader Kim attends memorial event for his late father: state media

North Korea 20:23 December 17, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with appearance of Kim Yo-jong in paras 4-5)
By Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Dec. 17 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended a memorial event for his father Kim Jong-il on the 10th anniversary of his death Friday, Pyongyang's state media reported.

It took place at the square of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the mausoleum commemorating the North's former leaders, in Pyongyang, according to the North's state TV.

Dressed in a long black leather coat, Kim was seen accompanied by top party and military officials, including Choe Ryong-hae, chairman of the standing committee, and Jo Yong-won, the leader's close aide and secretary for organizational affairs of the ruling party's Central Committee.

In this photo captured from North Korea's Korean Central Broadcasting Station, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a memorial event marking the 10th anniversary of the death of his father, Kim Jong-il, held in Pyongyang on Dec. 17, 2021. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Kim Yo-jong, the leader's powerful sister and a member of the State Affairs Commission, a high-level decision-making body, was spotted standing next to Kim Yong-chol, head of the United Front Department, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

It was her first public appearance in more than two months since she showed up at a defense development exhibition held in Pyongyang on Oct. 11 alongside her brother.

Kim died on Dec. 17, 2011, after having ruled the reclusive regime since the death of his father and national founder, Kim Il-sung, in 1994. Kim Jong-un, the third son of the late leader, took over the helm of the North in another hereditary succession of power.

North Korea has been kicking up a commemorative mood ahead of the anniversary with a series of events touting the late leader and highlighting loyalty to the current leader.

In a front-page editorial, the North's main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, said the country should push ahead with efforts to accomplish the first-year goals of its five-year development plan unveiled at a January party congress under Kim's leadership.

"All people and soldiers should have absolute trust in the general secretary, have their fate and future completely entrusted to him and guard his safety and authority," the editorial said.

In this photo captured from North Korea's Korean Central Broadcasting Station, Kim Yo-jong (2nd from L), the powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, attends a memorial event marking the 10th anniversary of the death of her father, Kim Jong-il, held in Pyongyang on Dec. 17, 2021. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

On Thursday, the North Korean Embassy in China held a memorial service to commemorate the late Kim, stressing close ties between the two countries.

Wang Chen, vice chairman of the standing committee of the Chinese National People's Congress, attended the ceremony and asked North Korean Ambassador Ri Ryong-nam to convey Chinese President Xi Jinping's "warm greetings and best wishes" to the North's leader Kim Jong-un, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

"(Wang) said that the traditional China-DPRK friendship serves as precious wealth for both sides, expressing the firm stand of the Chinese side to propel the steady development of the China-DPRK friendly ties," the KCNA said. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In this photo, captured from North Korea's Korean Central Broadcasting Station, citizens pay a silent tribute to former leader Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang on the 10th anniversary of his death on Dec. 17, 2021. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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