N.Korea marks end of Kim Jong Il mourning period

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea is marking the end of a three-year mourning period for the late leader Kim Jong Il.

The end of the mourning period on Wednesday could open the way for his son, Kim Jong Un, to put a more personal stamp on the way the country is run. Major shifts are unlikely, but analysts will be watching closely to see if the younger Kim will initiate new policies that underscore his own priorities and goals.

Since the death of his father, Kim Jong Un has indicated he wants to build the economy and improve the nation’s standard of living, but he has also held firm to the North’s longstanding — and extremely costly — focus on strengthening its military and developing its nuclear weapons capabilities.

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