N.Korean Regime Poised for Show of Unity

North Korea on Tuesday marks the second anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il with a major ceremony. It takes place at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of Kim Jong-il and his father Kim Il-sung lie embalmed.

The ceremony is expected to provide the regime with an opportunity for a show of unity after the purge of present leader Kim Jong-un's uncle Jang Song-taek and his cronies.

Pundits are curious to see whether Kim's aunt Kim Kyong-hui, Jang's widow, will show up, and whether Kim's wife Ri Sol-ju will attend the ceremony since she has been out of the public eye for some two months.

During the first anniversary last year, Kim paid his respects at the Kumsusan Palace at midnight flanked by top military, Workers Party and government officials. North Korean media reported the event at around 9 a.m. that morning.

A government official here speculated it would be natural for Ri Sol-ju and Kim Kyong-hui to attend. "If they do not, this would suggest that they are either gravely ill or there's a problem with their position," the official said.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 17, 2013 09:26 KST

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