North Korea staged a massive memorial service for Kim Jong-Il to end almost two weeks of official mourning, and formally declared his untested young son Jong-Un as the new supreme leader.
Addressing tens of thousands of troops and civilians packing a wintry Pyongyang square, ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-Nam praised the late leader for contributing to “global peace and stability of the 21st century”.
Kim Jong-Un, “the supreme leader of our party and army and people”, had inherited his late father’s spirit, leadership, personality, morality and fortitude, he added.
A sombre Jong-Un, clad in a black overcoat, presided from a balcony over the ceremony along with other members of the regime.
The service in Kim Il-Sung Square, named after the communist country’s founder and father of the late Kim, concluded the mourning following Kim Jong-Il’s death on December 17 from a heart attack at the age of 69.
Yesterday, the North Korean people during his funeral procession in the streets of Pyongyang, where cameramen from state-run media documented the totally genuine outpouring of grief — North Koreans sobbed in over-the-top, sometimes even violent fits of tears.