SEOUL, July 8 (UPI) -- North Koreans Thursday marked the day when their founding father died 10 years ago, with a pledge of absolute loyalty to his son, Kim Jong Il.
Masses of solemn-faced citizens gathered in front of a 60-foot-high bronze statue of Kim Il Sung to mourn for the late leader, who died on July 8, 1994 after ruling the reclusive country for nearly half a century, according to the North's television footage monitored in Seoul.
In a memorial service in central Pyongyang, North Koreans vowed to remain loyal to Kim Jong Il, who inherited the power of his deceased father.
The junior Kim, accompanied by military generals, visited the mausoleum where the embalmed body of his late father lies. The day was declared an official holiday to allow as many North Koreans as possible to attend various memorial services in the country.
The country "was wrapped in an atmosphere of deep condolences" to mourn "the demise of President Kim Il Sung, father of socialist Korea and the nation," the official Central News Agency said.