North Koreans mark Kim Jong-Il death with a bow

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People in the centre of Pyongyang bowed in a three-minute silent tribute to the father of the current authoritarian ruler Kim Jong-Un.

Images from the North’s state-run television channel KRT also showed North Koreans laying flowers in front of the statues of Kim Jong-Il and the state’s founder Kim Il-Sung.

Kim Jong-Il in 2011, the year of his death
Image Caption:Kim Jong-Il in 2011, the year of his death

Meanwhile, Kim Jong-Un was seen with other high-ranking officials visiting the the mausoleum where the embalmed bodies of former North Korean leaders lie and bowing to their statues.

He also attended an outdoor mass rally, where thousands of North Koreans gathered to commemorate Kim Jong-Il’s death.

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Kim Jong-Il is believed to have died following a heart attack on 17 December, 2011.

Kim Jong-Un, thought to be in his early thirties, has overseen heightened tensions on the divided Korean peninsula since taking control five years ago.

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Long-range missile tests and nuclear tests by Pyongyang have led to tighter UN Security Council sanctions.

However, these have shown little sign yet of curbing the young ruler’s nuclear ambitions.

Under Mr Kim, the North has also been linked to a number of high-profile cyberattacks, including electronic bank heists and the infamous 2014 hack on Sony Pictures, which initially prompted the studio to cancel the release of its North Korean-based film The Interview.

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The comedy, which involved a fictional CIA plot to assassinate the leader of the isolated communist state, infuriated Pyongyang.

North Korea denied involvement in the attack but hailed it as a “righteous deed”.

Mr Kim’s time in office has also seen him use purges and executions to tighten his grip on power, most notoriously with the killing of his uncle in 2013 for allegedly plotting a coup.

North Korean leader Kim Jong remains defiant in pursuing a nuclear programme
Image Caption:Kim Jong-Un is defiant in pursuing a nuclear programme

General Jang Song-Thaek, who was once considered the second most powerful individual in the North, is believed to have been killed by machine gun.

Other officials have reportedly been shot with an anti-aircraft gun.

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