The body of North Korea's late leader, Kim Jong Il, will be permanently displayed in the capital, Pyongyang, it was announced today.
Kim Jong Il has being lying in state in the Kumsusan Memorial Palace since Dec. 20. The palace also houses his dead father, Kim Sung Il.
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"Great leader Kim Jong Il will be preserved to look the same as when he was alive," Agence France Presse cited the official Korean Central News Agency as saying.
The decision to keep him on display permanently is one of several tributes announced by the ruling Workers' Party.
According to KCNA, the others are as follows:
The statue of the great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il will be erected with respect.
February 16, the greatest auspicious holiday of the nation when the great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il was born, will be instituted as the Day of the Shining Star.
Portraits of the great leader Comrade Kim Jong Il with smile on his face and towers to his immortality will be built across the country.
KCNA quoted Pyongyang residents who were apparently delighted by the news. "The Korean people felt so regretful for having no statue of Kim Jong Il to visit for mourning when he passed away," said one.
According to AFP, Kim Il Sung was embalmed with the help of Russian specialists, who are said to made several trips to renew the preservation process at a cost of around $1 million.
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