Hundreds of thousands of North Korean citizens are expected to turn out on Wednesday for the funeral of Kim Jong-il, the man they have revered as The Dear Leader since he assumed power in 1994.The what of his rule? His commitment to what? Not even a hint of irony.
State media have so far given no indications of how the event will proceed, although it is likely to be similar to the funeral for Kim's father, Kim Il-sung, and underline the achievements of his rule and his commitment to the North Korea people.
The media is simultaneously playing up the attributes and wisdom of Kim Jong-un, who has inherited his father's role as the leader of the nation, despite his youth. Kim Jong-un, who is believed to be 28 years old, was on Monday appointed to the top post in North Korea's Workers' Party.First I heard, he was in his early 30s. Then he was 30. Then 29. If this keeps up . . .
Meanwhile (as some no doubt long-daid journalism teacher told us never to use as a transition):
Authorities in South Korea have meanwhile [guess this guy didn't have the same journalism teacher] threatened to resort to force to prevent students and supporters of the regime in North Korea setting up altars to mourn Kim Jong-il's death.Applauding. National police finger truncheons. Applauding and sympathizing. Whompwhompwhomp!
Private security guards and officials of the elite Seoul National University have already torn down an altar set up in the grounds of the university and rejected requests from three students to burn incense on an altar in the student union building in honour of the later North Korean leader, Yonhap news agency reported.
"I thought it was the least we could do to show respect to a partner in forging peace on the Korean Peninsula," one of the three students told Yonhap, referring to Kim as one of the participants in summit meetings with former South Korean presidents Kim Dae-Jung and Roh Moo-Hyun.
"It is a controversial issue that we do not even have one space to mourn the death in this country," the student said.
The police have issued clear warnings that anyone who attempts to pay tribute to Kim Jong-il is breaking the law.
"Setting up altars to mourn Chairman Kim constitutes crimes against the National Security Law, which bans applauding and sympathising (with the communist North)," an official of the National Police Agency said. "We may even resort to force in order to prevent incense altars."
Koreans are weird.