North Korea has conferred its highest honor to late leader Kim Jong-il for laying an eternal foundation for the country’s prosperity.
The Supreme People’s Assembly posthumously awarded the Order of Kim Il-sung to Kim Jong-il on March 29 by “reflecting the unanimous will and desire of all the service personnel and people,” the Korean Central News Agency said Monday.
The rubber-stamp parliament praised Kim for making the country a nuclear state and a country that manufactured and launched satellites.
The parliament said in a decree that the award was given to Kim Jong-il on the occasion of the April 15 centennial of the birth of his late father Kim Il-sung, the North’s founder.
Kim Jong-il died in December and was succeeded by his own son Jong-un.
The announcement came just days before North Korea will launch a long-range rocket sometime between April 12 and 16 to put an earth observation satellite into orbit, a move widely seen as a pretext to disguise a banned test of its ballistic missile technology.
The North, which conducted two nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, is also believed to be gearing up for a third nuclear test, according to a South Korean intelligence official. (Yonhap News)