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?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific