The U.N. General Assembly has paid tribute to North Korea's late leader Kim Jong-il by observing a minute of silence in his memory.

There were no speeches and the chamber of the 193-member world body was half empty.

At the start of a meeting on Thursday afternoon, Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser told diplomats it was his “sad duty” to report that Kim died on Saturday. He asked North Korea's Ambassador “to convey condolences” to the government and people.

He then invited diplomats “to stand and observe a minute of silence in tribute to the memory of the late leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.”

North Korea's Ambassador Sin Son Ho stood with his head bowed.

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