Pyongyang mourns with deep grief in heavy snow
Updated: 2011-12-22 09:47
People mourn the death of Kim Jong-il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in Pyongyang, DPRK, Dec 21, 2011. [Photo/Xinhua]
As early as Monday, when the death of Kim Jong-il was announced, Pyongyangites began to voluntarily head for places wherever there were statues or pictures of Kim Jong-il to mourn. Since Tuesday, several places were designated for mourning, including Kim Il-sung Square and the plaza in front of the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium.
According to the DPRK's official news agency KCNA, by Tuesday noon, five million citizens had gone to to various locations to mourn Kim's death.
Kim Jong-il passed away from a great mental and physical strain at 08:30 Dec 17, 2011, on train during an inspection tour, KCNA said on Monday.
Xinhua reporters saw that the city of Pyongyang basically returned to normal life on Wednesday. Sanitation and construction workers went back to their daily work, responding in action to the call of "holding back tears to push forward the drive to build a thriving nation."
Some closed restaurants and shops opened again. National flags at half mast fluttering in the wind could be be seen outside many residential buildings. Some citizens were seen entering the study hall of the DPRK National Library.
Some staff of the Pyongyang International Telecommunication Bureau were still twisting flowers into wreaths. On the streets, people were selling and buying wreaths, baskets, bouquets and flowers.
Fewer people were seen walking on the streets, while at the mourning places, statues of Kim Il Sung attracted an endless stream of people from all walks of life, including soldiers, students and children.
Han Yun-chol, 45, a soldier with the Korean People's Internal Security Forces, said that "we were saddened to hear the sudden demise of our Supreme Commander, but we would brace ourselves up with determined will and change sorrow into strength."
The National Funeral Committee decided on Dec 19 that Kim Jong-il's bier would be placed at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and a mourning period be set from Dec 17 to 29.
During the mouring period, all institutions and enterprises across the country will hold mourning activities and hoist flags at half-mast while musicals and other entertainment would be banned.