North Koreans on Sunday marked the sixth anniversary of the death of Kim Jong Il, the former leader of the country and father of current leader Kim Jong Un.

The commemoration came amid heightened tensions with the U.S. over concerns about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

Bearing flowers, thousands of somber-faced North Koreans were photographed bowing in front of statues and portraits of their leaders in freezing weather.

As sullen, recorded music played, the mourners marched up Pyongyang’s Mansu Hill and placed flowers at the feet of two giant bronze statues of Kim Jong Il and national founder Kim Il Sung, who is North Korea’s “eternal president” and Kim Jong Un’s grandfather.

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