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U.S., Allies Boycott UN Silence For Kim

The body of Kim Jong-il lied in state this week at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea.
The United States, Japan and European Union nations have led a boycott of a moment of silence at the United Nations General Assembly meant to acknowledge the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Reports say there were no speeches in the General Assembly honoring Kim, who died December 17, and the chamber of the 193-nation world body was half-empty when the moment of silence was held.

Britain, France, Germany and most members of the 27-nation European Union joined the December 22 boycott alongside the United States and Japan.

UN General Assembly president Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser said the silence was a "protocol" move following a request from North Korea's UN mission for a General Assembly tribute to Kim.

Diplomats say UN Security Council members rejected a North Korean request for a Security Council gesture to the authoritarian leader.

The North Korean regime, accused of serious human rights abuses, is under Security Council sanctions due to its nuclear weapons program.

compiled from agency reports