N. Korea Marks 1st Anniversary of Kim's Death

Missile launch leaves Pyongyang in upbeat mood

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 17, 2012 3:43 AM CST

(Newser) – North Koreans across the country stopped in their tracks at midday today to silently honor former ruler Kim Jong Il, whose death one year ago swept his untested 20-something son to power. The son, Kim Jong Un, presided over a solemn ceremony in Pyongyang to reopen the sprawling granite mausoleum where his father's embalmed remains will lie in state near those of his grandfather, the nation's founder Kim Il Sung. The younger Kim's appearance also gave a look at a possible fourth generation: He was accompanied by wife Ri Sol Ju, who appeared to be heavily pregnant, reports Reuters.

The mood in the capital was decidedly more upbeat a year after the elder Kim's death, with some of the euphoria carrying over from last week's successful launch of a rocket carrying a satellite named for one of Kim Jong Il's many titles, Kwangmyongsong, or "Lode Star," a nickname given to him at birth. Speaking outside the mausoleum, the military's top political officer said North Korea should be proud of the satellite, calling it a show of strength to the world. Much of the rest of the world, however, was swift in condemning the launch.

North Koreans bow before the statues of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang today/
North Koreans bow before the statues of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, at Mansu Hill in Pyongyang today/   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony to reopen the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun  mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea today.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony to reopen the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun mausoleum in Pyongyang, North Korea today.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
North Koreans clap near flags flown at half-staff during a reopening ceremony at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun mausoleum in Pyongyang today.
North Koreans clap near flags flown at half-staff during a reopening ceremony at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun mausoleum in Pyongyang today.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
North Koreans clap beneath part of a slogan that calls on people to carry out the revolutionary ideology of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong I.
North Koreans clap beneath part of a slogan that calls on people to carry out the revolutionary ideology of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong I.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
North Korean military officers bow at an image of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a national meeting of top party and military officials yesterday.
North Korean military officers bow at an image of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a national meeting of top party and military officials yesterday.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
North Koreans pay their respects before the statues of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, at Mansu Hill near the pyramid shaped 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang.
North Koreans pay their respects before the statues of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il, right, at Mansu Hill near the pyramid shaped 105-story Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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