Tuesday, December 27, 2011

North Korean birds still mourn late leader

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea on Tuesday reported more grieving by Mother Nature for the death of Kim Jong Il, with a dove-like bird reportedly brushing the snow off a statue of the late leader.

The latest avian intervention was reported by Radio Pyongyang, which said the bird's behaviour last week was 'breaking the hearts of many people' who heard the story.

'As I was unable to calm my heart from a guilty conscience, a white bird larger than a dove suddenly brushed off the snow from the shoulders of the leader's statue,' the radio quoted a witness as saying, according to the South's Yonhap news agency which monitors the North's state media.

The media and other propaganda organs built a vast personality cult around the Kim dynasty, which has ruled the country since its creation in 1948. They are sometimes credited with near-supernatural powers.

The North announced on Dec 19 that the 69-year-old leader had died of a heart attack during a train trip two days earlier. It has proclaimed his son Jong Un as 'great successor' amid apparent scenes of mass grief.

Ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said on Monday that owls had been grieving at the Dec 5 Youth Mine daily since Kim's death.

'Owls flew in through the windows of the condolence venue and added to the commemorating feelings of the grieving people,' it said.

Last week official media reported the case of a Manchurian crane that bowed its head in grief, and said ice cracked around Kim's supposed birthplace at the revered Mount Paekdu with a thunderous sound.

A glow was also seen atop the mountain's Jong Il Peak, it added.