Even Mother Nature is mourning the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, with ice cracking around his birthplace and expressions of grief from a bird, Pyongyang’s media said yesterday.
On Saturday morning when Kim died, layers of ice ruptured with an unprecedented loud crack at Chon Lake on Mount Paektu and a snowstorm hit the area, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Mount Paektu is considered a holy place for North Koreans as the country’s founding father Kim Il-sung commanded anti-Japanese guerrillas from a secret camp there.
North Korea maintains his son Kim Jong-il was born there in 1942. Historians say he was actually born in Siberia, where his father had taken refuge from Japanese troops.
The snowstorm ended suddenly at dawn on Tuesday and the sunrise lit up the horizon and the mountain peaks, the news agency said.
A message from Kim Jong-il carved on the rocks, “Mt Paektu, holy mountain of revolution. Kim Jong-il,” glowed brightly, it said, in a phenomenon that until Tuesday.
A glow was seen atop the mountain’s Jong-il Peak for half an hour on Monday when the death was announced, according to KCNA.
A natural wonder was also observed around Kim Il-sung’s statue on Tonghung Hill in the northeastern city of Hamhung.
“At around 21:20 Tuesday a Manchurian crane was seen flying round the statue three times before alighting on a tree,” the news agency said. “The crane stayed there for quite a long while with its head bowed and flew in the direction of Pyongyang.”
“Observing this, the director of the Management Office for the Hamhung Revolutionary Site, and others said in unison that even the crane seemed to mourn the demise of Kim Jong-il, born of heaven, after flying down there at dead of cold night, unable to forget him,” it said.