Dec 23 - Western delegations boycott a moment of silence held in the United Nations General Assembly for former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. Rough cut (No reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL The United Nations General Assembly granted a request from North Korea and held a moment of silence on Thursday (December 22) for Kim Jong-il, the country's former leader who died on Saturday, though some Western delegations boycotted it. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nassir, president of the 193-nation assembly, called for a "minute of silence" before the start of a routine meeting at 3:00 p.m. EST (2000 GMT) in the half-empty U.N. General Assembly hall. The minute of silence lasted for 25 seconds, before Nassir proceeded with the scheduled meeting. The United States, European Union member states and Japan were among the countries that boycotted the tribute to Kim Jong-il. North Korea's U.N. mission made a similar request to the Security Council, but Western diplomats said it was rejected. Several Western diplomats earlier said Pyongyang's request for Kim to be honored was highly unusual. They voiced surprise that Nassir had granted it, and added that their delegations would most likely boycott the moment of silence in the assembly. Speaking at a news conference earlier in the day, Nassir cited "protocol" as the reason for agreeing to the request from North Korea, a full U.N. member.