Former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's body will lie in state "in lifelike appearance" at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, the regime said in a special announcement Thursday.
"The term 'in lifelike appearance' means they'll embalm Kim Jong-il's body just like regime founder Kim Il-sung's to preserve it permanently," a Unification Ministry official said. He said the embalming and display of a father and son "is unprecedented in modern times."
In the special statement, the Politburo also hastily designated Kim Jong-il's birthday on Feb. 16 as a national holiday dubbed "Kwangmyongsong (Shining Star) Day." Kim Il-sung's birthday on April 15 is also a national holiday called "Taeyang (Sun) Day" in the North, but that was decided in 1997, three years after Kim Il-sung's death.
"An Ode to Kwangmyongsong" is a poem allegedly written by Kim Il-sung for his son's 50th birthday in 1992. The regime named long-range rockets it launched in 1998 and 2009 "Kwangmyongsong-1" and "Kwangmyongsong-2."
The regime also plans to erect statues of Kim Jong-il across the impoverished country, which already has some 30,000 statutes of Kim Il-sung.