The body of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il lies in state at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang (Image: Reuters)

Despot Kim Jong-un is “forcing” factory workers to stump up to keep his dead ancestors embalmed – and on display to the public.

North Korea is struggling to afford the cost of preserving the corpses of their former leaders, Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il.

So Supreme Leader Kim is expecting his impoverished citizens to pick up the Sh41 million (£320,000)-a-year bill.

The embalmed bodies of Kim’s grandad and dad are on display in the capital Pyongyang’s Kumsusan Palace of the Sun.

Founder of North Korea Kim Il-sung, left, former leader Kim Jong-il, centre, and Kim Jong-il's youngest son Kim Jong-un, right (Image: Reuters)

But money is tight with the United Nations sanctions that have been imposed to curb Kim’s weapons programmes – preventing the rogue state trading with other countries.

Kim’s regime is now asking factory staff to pay up, and receive a certificate of loyalty in return.

But one report claims that the people are not happy with the plan.

The source said: “Some people think it is ridiculous how the authorities are ignoring their livelihoods while trying to raise money to keep dead bodies from rotting.”

News outlet Radio Free Asia reported: “There was a ceremony to award certificates for the Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il Fund to factory representatives.

“They gave the certificates to party members and workers who donated money to show their loyalty."

Kim Jong-un, centre, stands with Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan (Image: AFP/Getty Images)


The source said a speech, given in the province of North Pyongan, encouraged people to learn from the loyalty of the donors and to help by participating in raising funds.


But it added: “The party forced all workers to make regular ­contributions to the Palace of the Sun, saying they would give commendations and ­preference to donors.

“They claimed that regular loyalty donations will go into the fund, which will honour the great leaders who ­contributed their lives to the prosperity of their country and the happiness of our people.”