Correction: The mourning period will last 13 days, not 12 as an earlier version of this post stated.
Watch the video below.
North Korea, the isolated and antiquated nation, mourned Monday for its “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong Il, who died Saturday of an apparent heart attack. His youngest son Kim Jong Eun will continue the family dynasty that has controlled North Korea for the last 63 years.
The country entered a 13-day mourning period for the ruthless and mercurial dictator. In step with the country’s pattern of releasing highly orchestrated and synchronized video footage of its population, North Korean state television aired footage of citizens weeping and wailing in line formation.
According to the Korean Central News Agency, the video shows North Koreans mourning the death of Kim Jong Il. In it, groups divided by their sex, prostrate before photographs and statues of Kim Jong Il, pounding the cement and shouting. At the end of the video, the Korean Central News Agency translates a woman saying: “I will change sorrow into strength and courage and remain faithful to respected Comrade Kim Jong Eun.”
Though many people toward the front of the lines appear to be truly grieving, much of the emotion appears orchestrated. Faces toward the back of the crowd seem dry-eyed. One solider looks more bored than sad. In another scene, two young boys stand in a group of prostrating adults looking confused. In another clip, the camera pans over three men who appear to be laughing, rather than crying, and the camera is quickly jerked away.
Here’s more footage from Russia Today:
Kim Jong Il’s death was announced with tears, when a state television newscaster cried on air as she read the news:
There were similar, if not larger, public displays of grief after the death of Kim Jong Il’s father Kim Il Sung, in 1994. Footage shows North Koreans participating in massive public mournings:
(Thanks, Alex Ogle)
Read more about North Korea: