North Korea to Establish Kim Jong-il Award
North Korea has revealed that it would set up an international award to honor its late leader Kim Jong-il.
The state-run KCNA said the award will be given to politicians, scholars and public leaders who have "made a significant contribution in their country's struggle for independence," RIA Novosti informs.
The awards ceremony will be held on February 16th, marking the late leader's birthday. The date is a public holiday in North Korea, known as the Day of the Shining Star.
This move marks the 21st anniversary of Kim's inauguration as Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army.
Kim Jong-il led the communist nation since the death of his father in 1994, and inherited the leadership of the country from him. Shortly after he came to power, a severe famine caused by faulty economic reforms and poor harvests left an estimated two million people dead. His regime was harshly criticized for violations of human rights and was internationally isolated because if its pursuit of nuclear weapons.