Kim's corpse continues to play vital role: South tries to combat wave of sympathy for dictator

THE BODY of Kim Il Sung, North Korea's Communist dictator for 46 years, will be paraded through the streets of Pyongyang today in a triumphal funeral as the government tries to extract the last ounce of propaganda from his demise.

But in South Korea the Prime Minister castigated Kim Il Sung, blaming him for starting the Korean war and for the division of the Korean peninsula, in the first such outburst from Seoul since Kim's death 10 days ago. Disregarding their government's warnings, South Korean students have vowed to wear black ribbons and mourn Kim Il Sung publicly today.

The body of the 82-year-old 'Great Leader' has been lying in state in the Presidential Palace in Pyongyang for one week now, covered by a glass coffin imported from Japan. However, it is unclear whether the body will be preserved and put on permanent view like other deceased Communist leaders: Lenin, Mao Tse-tung and Ho Chi Minh.

The Russian embalmers of Lenin and Ho Chi Minh have said in Moscow that they have not been asked to travel to Pyongyang to help preserve Kim Il Sung's body. Korea is experiencing its hottest summer in 17 years, with temperatures reaching as high as 40C.

Some observers have suggested the real reason for the two-day delay in the official funeral has been uncertainty over what to do with the Great Leader's mortal remains.

In an attempt to incite workers in North Korea to increase their productivity, the government has coined the motto of 'turning sorrow into strength'. North Korean media have been giving regular reports on how workers in the steel, power generation and coal industries have been increasing their output since the death of the Great Leader. The most successful was the Kanggye Youth Power Plant, which produced 60 per cent more electricity in the two days after Kim Il Sung's death than it did in the same period last year, as the workers 'turned their sorrow into strength and courage to increase electricity output'. Officials in Seoul have pointed out the hysterical productivity drive in fact reflects the power shortages normally experienced in North Korea.

The South Korean government has been taken aback by the degree of popular support for Kim Il Sung that has been expressed by students on the nation's university campuses, and yesterday the cabinet resolved to hit back. Lee Yung Dug, the Prime Minister, said: 'There has been a historical assessment that Kim Il Sung is responsible for unfortunate incidents such as the consolidation of national division and the fratricidal war.'

Seoul said it would release documents given by the Russian President, Boris Yeltsin, to President Kim Young Sam that prove the North Korean leader planned the invasion of the South in 1950 well in advance, and even sought the approval of Stalin. North Korea claims the South started the war, which left 2.5 million dead and 10 million Koreans separated across the 38th parallel that divides the country.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Books should be for everyone, says Els, 8. Publisher Scholastic now agrees
booksAn eight-year-old saw a pirate book was ‘for boys’ and took on the publishers
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions