Connect to share and comment

A guide to the dynamic economics, politics, and culture of the world's most populous region.

Even the magpies mourn Kim Jong Il (VIDEO)

According to North Korea state TV, grieving isn't confined to humans.
Kim jong il is dead 2011Enlarge
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Il peers out of a car window after a meeting with Russian officials on August 24, 2011. (DMITRY ASTAKHOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Flocks of magpies took to the trees to "mourn" Kim Jong Il in the only way they knew how: remaining motionless for a spell and then flying off again.

North Korean state TV showed footage (below) of dozens of magpies perched in trees near a memorial for Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il's father, in Unsan county in eastern North Pyongan province, the Telegraph reports.

As one North Korean man testifies in the clip below, he has lived in the coal village for 50 years and never seen anything like it.

More from GlobalPost: In-depth series on what's next for North Korea

Another confirms: "It's not just a strange natural phenomenon. It means our Dear Leader was born a great man."

The clip explains that the magpies showed up on Dec. 18, a day after Kim Jong Il was reported to have died in a train from a heart attack. They apparently remained in the trees, visible by their white bellies, and then flew off again toward morning.

Kim Jong Il's body is currently on display before his funeral Dec. 28.

His third son and heir, Kim Jong Un, today met with delegations from South Korea who traveled to pay their respects. It was the young ruler's first face-to-face meeting with visitors from the outside world.

More from GlobalPost: Kim Jong Un meets delegations from South Korea

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/the-rice-bowl/north-korea-kim-jong-il