North Koreans mourn Kim Jong Il 1 year later

December 17, 2012 - 12:33 AM
North Korea Kim Jong Il

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, leaves after attending a national meeting of top party and military officials on the eve of the first anniversary of the death of his late father Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Koreans stopped in their tracks at midday to silently honor former ruler Kim Jong Il, whose death one year ago Monday swept his 20-something son to power.

The son, Kim Jong Un, led top military and government officials in reopening the sprawling mausoleum where his father's body now lies in state near that of his grandfather, the nation's founder Kim Il Sung. The hall bearing Kim Jong Il's body was expected to open to guests on Monday afternoon.

Kim Jong Il's death from a heart attack was famously followed by scenes of North Koreans dramatically wailing in the streets of Pyongyang.

The mood in the capital was decidedly more upbeat on Monday, less than a week after North Korea successfully launched a satellite named for Kim Jong Il.