National memorial service featuring tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians for the “dear leader” begins.
|North Korea has ended 11 days of official mourning for leader Kim Jong-il [AFP]|
North Korea has warned South Korea and “other foolish politicians around the world” that they should not expect it to change its policies, a day after the reclusive state finished the mourning period for its late leader Kim Jong-il.
“On this occasion, we solemnly declare with confidence that foolish politicians around the world including the puppet forces in South Korea should not expect any changes from us,” the North’s National Defence Commission said in a statement on Friday, carried by its official KCNA news agency.
It also said it would never engage with the current government of South Korea.
“As we declared, we will refuse forever to engage with traitor Lee Myung-bak and his group,” the National Defence Commission said in a statement on the official news agency, referring to the South’s president.
Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from Seoul, in South Korea said: “It was certainly pretty fearsome language, North Korea saying it would not deal with the government of South Korea, also saying that it was foolish politicians around the world, and they should not expect a change in policy.”
“This is not the first time we’ve heard this kind of language, but it is the first time since the succession of Kim Jong-un and that is of some significance,” as it shows they are not giving any signal of any great change in policy, he said.
North Korea, which ended 11 days of official mourning for leader Kim Jong-iI on Thursday, said it would unite around Kim Jong Un, the new declared supreme leader of the ruling party and military.
On Wednesday, the North staged a huge funeral procession in Pyongyang for its “dear leader”, readying a transition to his son Kim Jong-un.
State television showed a funeral cortege led by a limousine carrying a huge picture of the 69-year old, passing ranks of uniformed soldiers whose bare heads were bowed in homage.
Thousands of people who had gathered on the snow-bound streets to observe the procession could be heard wailing as the hearse passed.
“Seeing this white snow fall has made me think of the general’s [Kim’s] efforts and this brings tears to my eyes,” Seo
Ju-rim, a weeping female soldier, told North Korean television.