In this image made from KRT television, the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il is laid in a memorial palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/KRT)
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea displayed the body of ruler Kim Jong Il in a glass coffin surrounded by red flowers Tuesday, and his young heir was one of the first to pay respects — a strong indication that a smooth leadership transition was under way.
As the country mourned for a second day with high-level visits to Kim’s body at a memorial palace and public gatherings of weeping citizens, state media fed a budding personality cult around his youngest known son and anointed heir, Kim Jong Un, hailing him as a “lighthouse of hope.”
Kim’s body was wrapped in red cloth and surrounded by blossoms of his namesake flowers, red “kimjongilia.” As solemn music played, Kim Jong Un — believed to be in his late 20s — entered the hall to view his father’s bier, surrounded by military honor guards. He observed a moment of solemn silence, then circled the bier, followed by other officials.
Outside one of the capital’s main performance centers, mourners carried wreaths and flowers toward a portrait of Kim Jong Il. Groups were allowed to grieve in front of the portrait for a few minutes at a time.
“We will change today’s sorrow into strength and courage and work harder for a powerful and prosperous nation, as our general wanted, under the leadership of the Login to read more