The embalmed body of late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il went on public display in Pyongyang Monday on the anniversary of his death, amid rumors that his son and successor Kim Jong Un might soon be a father.
The Associated Press, the only Western media outlet to have a full-time bureau in the isolated Stalinist state, reported that Kim lies in state in the Kumsusan mausoleum, a few floors below his father, Kim Il Sung.
Tens of thousands of North Koreans braced freezing conditions to pay their respects to the late leader, who died of a heart attack on Dec. 17 last year, The Guardian reported.
State television showed images of Kim Jong Un and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, walking together at the mausoleum.
The pictures of Ri, wearing a loose-fitting traditional Korean dress, sparked rumors that she is pregnant, The Guardian reported.
South Korean media outlets reported that "Ri appeared to be in the late stages of pregnancy" and that the happy day was "not far away."
France 24 said North Korean media has yet to make an official announcement.
The solemn occasion came less than a week after North Korea's controversial satellite launch, which drew international condemnation.
Astronomers told The New York Times Monday that the satellite — named after the late Kim — was “out of control and most likely dead.”
“It’s tumbling and we haven’t picked up any transmissions,” said Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astronomer who tracks global rocket launchings and space activity.
“Those two things are most consistent with the satellite being entirely inactive at this point.”
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