North Korea marks anniversary of former leader's death

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North Korea marks anniversary of former leader's death

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North Korea has marked the second anniversary of the death of its former leader Kim Jong Il.

Kim Jong Un took over when his father died suddenly two years ago.

Tuesday’s anniversary comes only days after a ferocious power struggle at the top resulted in the execution of Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, formerly the second most powerful man in the country.

The execution was the biggest upheaval in years in North Korea. Jang’s wife was absent from a state memorial ceremony on Tuesday, raising questions about her influence after her husband was executed.

Together, she and Jang had been considered the “Pyongyang power couple”, the real force behind the North Korean leadership, before Jang was labelled a traitor and executed.

On Tuesday, North Koreans lay floral tributes in front of statues of former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Meanwhile in the reclusive state’s nearest neighbour, South Korea, anti-North Korea protesters celebrated the former leader’s death by burning effigies in the capital Seoul.

Many are defectors who escaped from the North demonstrating against the Pyongyang regime.