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article imageNorth Korea prepares for state funeral of 'Dear Leader'

By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 27, 2011 in World
The state funeral of the "Dear Leader" of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, will be held on Wednesday, one day before the official mourning period ends. It is expected that a strong military presence will feature heavily during the ceremonies.
Deceased dictator Kim Jong-il has been lying in state in a glass coffin since his death on Dec. 17. North Korea is preparing to hold the state funeral of the "Dear Leader" on Dec. 28, though few details have been released. The country is in a state of official mourning as Kim Jong-il's subjects prostrate themselves in grief.
North Korea's official news agency has said the day of the funeral "would begin with a gunfire salute and three minutes of silence" according to France 24. No foreign dignitaries have been invited to attend. The funeral is expected to feature a strong military presence.
Ahn Chan-il of the World Institute for North Korea Studies in South Korea is quoted by NDTV as saying "A display of weapons may also be a way to demonstrate that the military remains loyal to the succession process," adding "There may even be a small-scale military parade involving airplanes." The small group of South Korean delegates who were allowed to visit the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, to pay their respects, will have crossed back over the border prior to the day of the funeral.
Official mourning will end on Dec.29. The official news agency has stated "Mourning shots will be fired in Pyongyang (Thursday) and all provincial units across the country, and three minutes of silence will be observed by people across the country."
Kim Jong-un is being groomed to succeed his father as leader of North Korea. He has officially been declared as the "great successor to the Juche (self-reliance) revolutionary cause and sagacious leader of our party, state, army and people, is at the helm of the Korean revolution."
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