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Kim Jong-il’s body will likely be embalmed

North Korea’s Kim Jong-il ruled the country for 37 years, but his body is likely to last much longer.

While Pyongyang has yet to disclose what will be done with Kim’s body, observers say that it is likely to be embalmed and interred at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, just as his father’s body was in 1994, as North Korea’s ruling class seeks to continue the idolization of the Kims.

In preparing the body for long-term preservation, the body is completely drained of blood, and all organs are removed. Embalming fluid is then injected into the body through the major arteries, and the abdominal cavity is emptied of internal organs and also filled with embalming solution.

However, the process of inserting embalming fluid into the body could take up to 12 months if the body is immersed in it and the fluid is left to be absorbed into the body naturally.

The body of Kim Il-sung, founder of the communist state and Kim Jong-il’s father, was embalmed by Russian technicians and still lies under a glass casket at the extravagant palace that is said to have cost $890 million to build.

The process of embalming and preserving the elder Kim’s body is no less taxing for the country.

The embalming process reportedly cost the impoverished communist state $1 million, and maintaining Kim Il-sung’s corpse is estimated to cost about $800,000 each year.

By Choi He-suk (