UK & World News

  • 17 February 2014, 0:07

Kim Jong-Un's Birthday Bow For Late Father

Kim Jong-Un has bowed before a statue of his late father on what would have been his 72nd birthday.

The North Korean leader's visit to the giant mausoleum, where Kim Jong-Il's embalmed body lies in state, was shown on the communist country's state-run TV channel KRT, accompanied by a gushing commentary.

Mr Kim was accompanied by a large entourage of military top brass as he toured the grandiose Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.

He paused to pay his respects in front of statues of his father and his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung, who founded the communist state.

Massive floral baskets were also presented by marching soldiers of the Korean People's Army.

It comes as the UN prepares to release a report about alleged crimes against humanity in North Korea, including murder, enslavement and torture, as well as rape, forced abortion and persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds.

The Kumsusan mausoleum, which is dedicated to the two deceased members of the Kim family, is considered sacred by North Koreans and is where the nation's key anniversaries are observed.

North Koreans are told Kim Jong-Il was born on February 16, 1942.

The day is known as the "Day of the Shining Star" and is celebrated as a national holiday in North Korea.

However, Mr Kim's official biography is not universally regarded as reliable and many Western scholars believe he was actually born a year earlier.

Kim Jong-Il died of an apparent heart attack in December 2011 after ruling North Korea for 17 years.

His youngest son and current leader was named North Korea's "great successor" after his death.

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