North Korea has marked the second anniversary of the death of Kim Jong il with vows to unite behind his son, Kim Jong Un, and a series of events to show the world that the regime has returned to business as usual despite the execution last week of Kim’s once-powerful uncle.

Kim Jong Un sat silently as a stadium full of military and party officials paid homage to his father Tuesday. Absent was Jang Song Thaek, who was executed after being accused of corruption and allegedly trying to overthrow the government.

The high-profile purge heightened questions over the stability of Kim’s two-year-old leadership and cast doubt on the North’s carefully cultivated image of total unity.

But Tuesday’s anniversary events were a predictable show of reverence for the Kims’ leadership.

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