Vintage plate 2018

Built in 1976, the Kumsusan Sun Palace is the former presidential residence of Kim Il-Sung. It was at his death in 1994 that Kim Jong-Il transformed the Palace into a mausoleum in honour of his father. He will also be buried there at his death in 2011.


The massive structure of the building, with little windows, is impressive and stretches over more than 10 500 m2. It is said that some corridors are more than a kilometre long! Kim Jong-Il set himself the goal of constituting the greatest mausoleum in the world for his father: his goal is attained.


Inside the palace are the embalmed bodies of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, each in a glass sarcophagus in the Centre of a huge room which is guarded permanently by military personnel.


The place is one of the most secure places in the country and especially one of the most sacred: it was even ranked national treasure in 2013. It is compulsory for visitors to wear formal attire and behave with dignity and respect throughout the visit. The guides and soldiers will not hesitate to admonish the inconsiderate. In the halls where the leaders ' bodies are kept, the visitors enter in groups of 4 people, and must respectfully bow in a specific order: in front of the feet, then on the left, and finally on the right side of the coffin. Under the head of each President there is a traditional Korean pillow.


Then you will have a look at the gifts, medals and prizes that were received by North Korean leaders during their lifetime as well as personal items. You will particular have a look at collection cars of the regime, a train used by Kim Jong-Il and maps showing his many travels around the world – the most observant will notice a computer of the Apple brand, yet symbol of American imperialism, on an office inside a wagon...


The place is so big and the guides lead tourist through so many halls, corridors and staircases, that one can quickly get lost. This is certainly intended to avoid any attempt to attack or degrade sarcophagus. It has been said that a specific evacuation procedure of the remains is foreseen in case of danger or external aggression to carry them in a highly secure place.


Outside the palace there is a large park which, like the main building, is of perfect symmetry. Kim Jong-UN would have designed and supervised the work personally.


Please note. It is forbidden to smoke or take pictures/videos in the enclosure of the mausoleum. All personal belongings are to be left at the entrance of the building before a thorough security check.

It is advisable to bring along a sweater, the air conditioning being quite powerful in some areas of the palace, especially in the mortuary.


Death of Kim Jong-Il. On December 19, 2011, the presenter RI Chun-Hee, announces in tears the death of Kim Jong-Il, which took place two days earlier, at 8:30 a.m. The eternal leader died of a heart attack on a train trip outside Pyongyang.

A procession of more than forty kilometres is organized for more than three hours with the starting point and the arrival of the Kumsusan Sun Palace, marking the beginning of two days of funerals. In mid-January 2012, the North Korean Government confirmed that Kim Jong-Il's embalmed body would be exposed in the same way and in the same place as that of his father Kim Il-Sung. The Kumsusan Sun Palace is closed for long months for renovation and re-opens on December 17, 2012, one year after Kim Jong-Il died. The bodies previously exposed in the same room are now each on a different floor.

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  Pyongyang 평양
North Korea
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