Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kim Jong-il death: 'Nature mourns' N Korea leader

Strange natural phenomena have been witnessed in North Korea since the death of the country's leader Kim Jong-il, the state news agency KCNA reports.
Ice cracked on a famous lake "so loud, it seemed to shake the Heavens and the Earth", and a mysterious glow was seen on a revered mountain top, KCNA said.
The personality cult surrounding North Korea's founding father and son bestows near-divine status on them.
Meanwhile, South Korean intelligence has questioned how Mr Kim died.
Citing US satellite photos, the country's national intelligence service director Won Sei-hoon said there was no sign that the special train, on which Mr Kim is reported to have died while on a visit on Saturday, had ever left Pyongyang over the weekend.
South Korea's president says Seoul is trying to show no hostility towards Pyongyang. Lee Myung-bak said a return to stability in the communist state was in the interests of the region.
Seoul is also sending its top nuclear negotiator to Beijing for talks on the situation in its northern neighbour.
In North Korea, state media continue to report mass grieving following Mr Kim's death, reportedly from a heart attack.
'Message in rock' The 69-year-old had led North Korea since the death of his father in 1994 and an elaborate personality cult, involving multiple stories of alleged miracles or astonishing deeds, has been built up around him.
Even nature is mourning, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Thursday.
A snowstorm hit as Mr Kim died and ice on the volcanic Chon lake near his reported birthplace at Mount Paektu cracked, it said.
Following the storm's sudden end at dawn on Tuesday, a message carved in rock - "Mount Paektu, holy mountain of revolution. Kim Jong-il" - glowed brightly, it said. It remained there until sunset.
On the same say, a Manchurian crane also apparently adopted a posture of grief at a statue of the late leader's father in the northern city of Hamhung.
"Even the crane seemed to mourn the demise of Kim Jong-il, born of Heaven, after flying down there at dead of cold night, unable to forget him," KCNA reported officials as saying.
On Wednesday state media said more than five million people had already turned out to pay their respects to Kim Jong-il.
State media have called on North Koreans to unite behind his designated heir, youngest son Kim Jong-un, who is being called the "Great Successor".
Observers fear that because the transfer of power from father to son had not been formalised before Mr Kim's death, it could trigger instability. Regional neighbours are keenly(...)More.

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