The following is a reformatted version of an e-mailed statement released today by the official Korean Central News Agency from Pyongyang after the announcement of the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.
On Dec. 19, not long after news of Kim Jong Il's death went public, the Chinese Communist Party issued a note of condolence reminding the North Korean people that he was "a close friend of the Chinese people."
North Korea today commemorates the birthday of late dictator Kim Jong Il, capping off weeks of celebration that included carving his name into the side of a mountain, as it tries to burnish the legacy of the Kim dynasty.
Kim Jong Il ’s youngest son was named a general, signaling the start of a possible power transfer in North Korea to a man said to be in his late 20s who the regime has never previously mentioned in public.
Kim Jong Il, the second-generation North Korean dictator who defied global condemnation to build nuclear weapons while his people starved, has died, state media reported. A government statement called on North Koreans to “loyally follow” his son, Kim Jong Un.