Kim Jong Il described himself as an eternal ruler—but even he requires a bit of embalming to preserve his body for posterity. On Jan. 12 North Korea confirmed that he will, in fact, be pickled. “Great leader Kim Jong Il will be preserved to look the same as when he was alive,” KCNA, the country’s official news agency, reported. The government will also erect smiling portraits and “towers to his immortality” across the country. Feb. 16—his birthday—will be named the Day of the Shinging Star and recognized as “the greatest auspicious holiday of the nation.”
Speculation has been rife for weeks that he would enter a mummified state like his father, whose embalming in Moscow took nearly a year and reportedly cost $1 million. Skeptics suggested North Korea is too impoverished at the moment to pay for an embalming. Apparently the North Koreans won’t put a price tag on their Dear Leader.
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