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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

(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.

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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