North Korea celebrates founder’s birth without military parade | Politics News

Tens of thousands of people poured into Pyongyang’s main square to enjoy light shows and art exhibitions in memory of Kim Il Sung.

North Korea celebrated the 110th birthday of late founder Kim Il Sung on Friday with fireworks, a procession and a gala dinner in Pyongyang’s main square, with thousands of people in costumes. colorful traditions are singing and dancing.

The nuclear-armed Pyongyang often uses the holiday – known as the Day of the Sun – to show off its latest weapons.

But while this year’s event follows a series of weapons tests – three weeks ago, the nation conducted first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) since 2017 – no sign of the usual parade.

Leader Kim Jong Un visited his grandfather’s mausoleum and attended a “national meeting and public procession” in Pyongyang Kim Il Sung Square but no public comment was reported. State news agency KCNA reported, a senior official speaking at the meeting, said that North Korea will overcome all difficulties and always rise to victory.

State media broadcast live footage of the evening’s gala in the square after sunset on Friday, following concerts, art exhibitions and thought workshops.

A tank is decorated with lights - the Korean flag on the turret - at an event to mark the birthday of the country's founder Kim Il-sung
North Korea held a light show as part of celebrations marking the birth of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, traditionally the country’s most important holiday [Cha Song Ho/AP Photo]

KCNA said there was also a festival of lights in central Pyongyang with dancing fountains and decorated boats on the Taedong River.

The festival “artistically depicts” Kim Il Sung’s hometown and the “sacred mountain of the revolution, Mt Paektu”, KCNA said. Residents can take pictures in front of the domes, which are lit up with phrases like ‘Pyongyang is the best’ and ‘We are the happiest in the world’.

“I went to see the festival of lights with my daughter. Looking at it today, it’s great. What is particularly impressive is the saying “self-reliance”, Ri Bom Chol, a 40-year-old doctor, told AFP news agency in Pyongyang.

‘Love is forever’

Analysts, along with South Korean and American officials, had been expecting North Korea to mark the occasion with new weapons, or even a test of its banned nuclear weapons.

But there hasn’t been any mention in the state media of any military parade.

Seoul-based website NK News reports that analysis of satellite images shows that training is taking place at the Mirim parade training base, with several thousand soldiers marching in formation. Images from Planet Labs also show more and more tire tracks around the heavy weapons safe garage area at the site, indicating ongoing practices, it added.

Experts say April 25 – the anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army – is the next most likely date for the parade.

“Since the two anniversaries are only 10 days apart, it seems a bit difficult to organize a parade on both occasions,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, told the BBC. AFP.

A small group of North Koreans bow before bronze statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il riding horses
People bow before statues of the late North Korean leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, during the Celebration of the Day of the Sun on Friday [Jon Chol Jin/AP Photo]

Kim Il-sung died in 1994 but was the country’s ‘eternal president’, and his preserved body lies intact in a red-lit room at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the outskirts of the capital.

Koreans are taught from birth to respect Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Iland all adults wear badges depicting one or both men.

Ri Gwang Hyok told an AFP reporter in Pyongyang as they visited the growing statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

Ri, 33, says: “Love is forever.

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