N.Korean Officials in Show of Loyalty to Kim Jong-un

Senior North Korean officials swore frantic allegiance to their leader Kim Jong-un on Tuesday after the ouster and execution of his powerful uncle Jang Song-taek.

The occasion was the second anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il, which was being marked with an hour-long ceremony in Pyongyang.

Ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam called on all North Koreans to "hold comrade Kim Jong-un in high esteem as the sole center of unity and leadership."

Military Politburo chief Choe Ryong-hae also urged North Koreans to affirm their loyalty to Kim Jong-un.

"We revolutionary forces have no one but our dear supreme commander, comrade Kim Jong-un, and will only revere the supreme commander despite hardships on earth and in the sky."

Both Kim and Choe said Kim has racked up "great achievements as a leader."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on Tuesday, the second anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il. /[North] Korean Central TV North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on Tuesday, the second anniversary of the death of former leader Kim Jong-il. /[North] Korean Central TV

Also present at the memorial ceremony were Prime Minister Pak Pong-ju, chief of the Army's General Staff Ri Yong-gil, and armed forces minister Jang Jong-nam, as well as other high-ranking military and Workers Party officials.

Representatives from the pro-Pyongyang association of Korean residents in Japan, or Chongryon, and foreign diplomats also attended the memorial.

There was no sign of Jang's widow Kim Kyong-hui, although she is Kim Jong-il's sister and was widely believed to have escaped the purge.

Kim junior and his wife Ri Sol-ju also visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the bodies of the two older Kims lie embalmed, state TV reported.

englishnews@chosun.com / Dec. 18, 2013 09:23 KST

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