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Business as Usual? N. Korea Marks Kim Death Anniversary

Elder Kim celebrated as purges loom
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 17, 2013 1:03 AM CST
Business as Usual? N. Korea Marks Kim Death Anniversary
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends an event to mark the second anniversary of the death of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang today.   (AP Photo/KRT via AP Video)

(Newser) – North Korea has marked the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il with vows to unite behind his son, Kim Jong Un, and a series of events to show the world that the regime has returned to business as usual despite the execution last week of Kim's once-powerful uncle. Kim Jong Un sat silently as a stadium full of military and party officials paid homage to his father today.

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The high-profile purge of his uncle heightened questions over the stability of Kim's two-year-old leadership and cast doubt on the North's carefully cultivated image of total unity, but today's anniversary events were a predictable show of reverence for the Kims' leadership. There may be some empty seats at next year's events for the elder Kim: Experts believe the execution may be just the beginning of a "reign of terror" to eliminate Kim's potential rivals. (Read more Kim Jong Il stories.)

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