By Ria Novosti
Representatives of U.S., Canada, Japan, South Korea and some European nations walked out when the United Nations General Assembly declared a minute of silence to honor the memory of the deceased North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
“It is my sad duty to pay tribute to the memory of the late Kim Jong-il,” the assembly’s president Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser said.
While some diplomats in the UN General Assembly rose from their seats and bowed heads, other envoys left the room, refusing to honor the man who ruled North Korea with an iron fist for 17 years.
The move was requested by North Korea’s delegate to the 193-nation assembly. Al-Nasser said it was granted as a “protocol move” for a head of state who died during his tenure.
Western diplomats dismissed the move as inappropriate.
“This is a man who is responsible for probably tens of thousands of deaths. He is not a model for the UN,” AFP quoted a European diplomat, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
Kim Jong-il died from a heart attack on December 17 at the age of 69. His funeral is set for December 28 at a memorial palace on the outskirts of the capital, Pyongyang. His son Kim Jong-un was been designated the “Great Successor” in the country.