Despite his death over six years ago, the North Koreans have been celebrating the 76th birthday of Kim Jong-il, as only they know how - with mass choreographed displays of obeisance before the great man's image:
Unaware of reports his eldest son - and current leader Kim Jong-un's half brother - was killed just days ago in what appears to have been a carefully planned assassination, North Koreans marked the birthday of late leader Kim Jong-il on Thursday as they do every year, with dancing, special treats for children and reverential bows and bouquets of flowers before bronze statues.
There has been no mention of half brother Kim Jong-nam's killing at the Kuala Lumpur airport in the North's official media.
In fact, Kim Jong-nam, who is believed to have lived most of the past decade in a kind of exile away from the North, may as well have never existed as far as most North Koreans are concerned. Few have access to outside media sources and reports here are generally limited to the ruling line of Kims.
It would be astonishing if Kim Jong-nam was mentioned. Why, people would ask, is he not leader, given that he's Kim Jong-il's eldest son? Surely with the blood of the peerless statesman - the sacred Mount Paektu line - coursing through his veins, he must have been a truly great man.
As it is, he's been erased from history the way Stalin's opponents were erased from old photographs.
My guess is that Pyongyang will have been surprised - and not particularly pleased - that the assassination has made headlines across the world. If the perpetrators had managed to make it back to North Korea, I doubt there'd have been a hero's welcome. Why, they'd have been asked, in an airport? So publicly? Yes, there is that element of sowing fear among would-be dissidents, but if no one knows back home anyway, it can hardly serve as a warning.
Meanwhile, from the official Rodong Sinmun:
February 16 is shining as the day of great fortune when the Korean people and other progressive peoples in the world greeted a peerlessly great man who would lead the cause of independence along the path of victory for all ages....
The history of Kim Jong Il's revolutionary leadership is an epic of the most devoted and heroic struggle of an outstanding revolutionary who glorified the history of modern Korea as annals of victory of socialism with his unique ideology and leadership. It is also the history of a prominent leader who left marks in the history of the world socialist movement and powerfully accelerated the cause of human independence.
Kim Jong Il developed in depth the Juche idea by adding new principles and contents to it as required by the times and the developing revolution and comprehensively formulated and systemized the socialist theory on the basis of it.
He strictly adhered to the firm anti-imperialist independent stand and socialist principle in the whole course of revolutionary leadership, foiled the enemy's offensive against revolution through a revolutionary offensive, advanced the revolution and construction in the Korean style and thus consolidated and developed socialism of Juche and strikingly demonstrated its invincibility.
He, regarding it as his lifetime political faith to believe in the people as in Heaven, put forward the people as the most precious beings in the world, settled all matters on the principle of absolutely prioritizing their interests, let the party, state and army serve them only and made sure that all the wealth of society contributed to promoting their wellbeing....
A large crowd of people met at leader Kim Jong Il's birthplace in the Paektusan Secret Camp to vow to hold him in high esteem for all ages and accomplish the revolutionary cause of Juche to the last under the leadership of the Party.
Attending it were Vice Marshal of the Korean People's Army Hwang Pyong So, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the C.C., Workers' Party of Korea, vice-chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and director of the General Political Bureau of the KPA; Vice-Chairman of the C.C., WPK O Su Yong, Minister of People's Security Choe Pu Il and Vice-Premier of the Cabinet and Chairman of the State Planning Commission Ro Tu Chol, who are members of the Political Bureau of the C.C., WPK; officials of party and armed forces organs, working people's organizations, ministries and national institutions, men and officers of the KPA, officers and members of the 216 Division and officials and persons of merits in Ryanggang Province and Samjiyon County.
Oath-taking speeches were made by O Su Yong and Hwang Pyong So and Jon Yong Nam, first secretary of the C.C., the youth league.
They said that Kim Jong Il performed immortal feats before the country and the history by leading the WPK and the revolution to the ever-victorious road for half a century....
Unfortunately, Kim Jong-il was actually born in Russia, in the village of Vyatskoye, near Khabarovsk. But what are facts in the face of such mythomania?