SEOUL – China presented North Korea with a life-size waxwork figure of Kim Jong Il wearing the late leader’s trademark jumpsuit and parka coat during a special presentation ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday.
A North Korean delegation, including Deputy Minister of Science and Education Kim Mun Kyung was there to receive the waxwork, which goes on display in North Korea’s ‘International Friendship Exhibition’ on 27 July.
Kim praised the talents of the artist, Zhang Molei, China’s Global Times said, and emphasized the friendship between China and North Korea.
Zhang created a waxwork figure for Kim Il sung and his wife in 1996 (see video at bottom of article). With a Kim Jong Il figure added to the collection, analysts in South Korea are speculating that Sino-DPRK relations are showing a “gradual recovery” since Choe Ryong Hae’s May visit to Beijing in May.
The waxwork is dressed in Kim Jong Il’s trademark khaki jumpsuit and parka.
A banner in Chinese reads ‘Great Leader comrade Kim Jong Il waxwork presentation ceremony’. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) were behind the presentation, Chinese media reports said.
Guests wearing traditional Korean chosonot pay tribute to the waxwork, implying it may be treated with the same reverence as the waxwork of Kim Jong Suk, his mother.
Korean People’s Army (KPA) officers present a bouquet.
Chinese and Korean guests line up to pay tribute.
The artist speaks to Deputy Minister Kim, who in turn praises him for his work.
The same Chinese artist produced a life-sized waxwork of Kim Jong Suk, Kim Jong Il’s mother, in April 2009.
Additional reporting by Susan Ahn and Hyowon Shin in Seoul. Images: Xinhua.