March 21, 2023

Kim Jong Il death commemorated in purge’s aftermath

Two-year anniversary shows little immediate change, but may ultimately prove meaningful

Not long after the ouster of Jang Song Taek, North Korea’s leaders have paid their respects on the second anniversary of former leader Kim Jong Il’s death.  There were some notable appearances – and absences – at the ceremony, but a look at history indicates that the two-year anniversary may herald the beginning of the end of the first phase in Kim Jong Un’s leadership.

North Korea held memorial services in Pyongyang on December 17 marking the second anniversary of the death of former Supreme Leader Kim Jong Il.  Current Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, along with other senior officials, attended the memorial ceremony and then visited Kumsusan Memorial Palace, where the bodies of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il both lie in state. The events were covered by the state-controlled Korean Central Television and Korean Central News Agency.  On the day before many senior officials attended the funeral of Kim Kuk T’ae.