Pyongyang May Be Too Poor to Pickle Kim

Unlike his father, late leader likely to be buried
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 21, 2011 6:01 AM CST
Kim Jong Il Will Likely Be Buried Instead of Embalmed
Mourners view the body of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang yesterday.   (AP Photo)

Kim Jong Il is currently lying in state in Pyongyang, but North Koreans may not have much longer to view him: A shortage of skills and cold hard cash means the late Dear Leader will likely be buried instead of being preserved for display like his father, Kim Il Sung, the Guardian finds.

After the elder Kim's death in 1994, Russian chemists and biologists spent nearly a year preparing it for display, at a cost believed to be in the neighborhood of $1 million, and the annual cost of keeping him on display is reportedly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Ordinary North Koreans, however, aren't aware of the expenditure: Government propaganda claims that his preservation was a miracle. (Read more Pyongyang stories.)

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