Did atheist N. Korea's leaders really say they'll "pray" for Kim Jong-il?

Why have his successors called for three minutes of prayer at the end of his official mourning period?

BY: Rob Kerby


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own country as a uniquely brave soldier, the “Generalissimo” who succeeded in repelling American and South Korean aggression for decades.

Born “Yuri Irsenovich Kim” in Russia, where his father was organizing a guerrilla campaign against Korea, the younger Kim did not step foot into Korea until after the end of the Second World War.

But according to North Korean legend, he was born on the peak of Mount Baekdu, the sacred volcano which is central to Korea’s creation myth.

A double rainbow appeared at his birth, and a new star shone in the firmament.

Other myths suggest that Kim shot a 38-under-par round at the inauguration of Pyongyang’s first golf course in 1994, including eleven holes in one. He also invented the hamburger, or, as the North Koreans call it, the Gogigyeopbbang, or ‘double bread with meat.’ And he was able to skip going to the bathroom; one government website briefly claimed that he had no need to urinate or defecate.

The same propaganda machine is already molding Kim Jong-un, his 29-year-old successor, into a version of his grandfather, always showing him in a Mao suit, with his hair swept back and a grave expression on his face. While the myths about the Kim family appear ludicrous to the West, they sustain a population who many predicted

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