N. Korean leader pays respects to late father on birthday

By 정주원
  • Published : Feb 16, 2014 - 09:54
  • Updated : Feb 16, 2014 - 09:58

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Sunday visits the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in the capital Pyongyang to mark the 72th birthday of the former leader Kim Jong-il. (Yonhap)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un paid his respects to his late father on Sunday to mark the former leader's 72nd birthday, Pyongyang's state media reported.

The Korean Central News Agency, monitored in Seoul, said Kim visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in the capital Pyongyang, where the body of Kim Jong-il lies in state.

The KCNA said the junior Kim paid his respects before the statues of Kim Il-sung, his grandfather and the founder of North Korea, and Kim Jong-il. The leader placed a floral basket on behalf of the army in front of the statues, it added.

Kim Jong-il's birthday, also called "the Day of the Shining Star," is one of the most important holidays in the communist country along with the founder's birthday referred to as "the Day of the Sun." The incumbent leader took over the country after the sudden death of his father in late 2011.

"Kim Jong Un, together with other visitors, paid high tribute to the statues," the KCNA's English-language dispatch said.

The report said Kim was accompanied by other key government officials and military leaders, such as Choe Ryong-hae, the director of the General Political Bureau of the (North) Korean People's Army, and Ri Yong-gil, head of the General Staff of the KPA.

The young leader, however, was not accompanied by his wife Ri Sol-ju, who had made the visit with her husband last year. (Yonhap News)