North Korea marks founding president′s 100th birthday | News | DW | 15.04.2012
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North Korea marks founding president's 100th birthday

A military parade marking the centenary of Kim Il-Sung, the founding president of North Korea, was held in the capital, Pyongyang, on Sunday.

Television images broadcast by North Korean television showed thousands of soldiers carrying red flags and marching into Kim Il-Sung Square in the capital.

Kim Il-Sung's grandson, Kim Jong-Un, delivered his first ever public speech during the parade.

Kim Jong-un (center) applauding the parde in Pyongyang from a viewing stand

North Korea continues its personality cult

"I offer the purest respect and the greatest honor to great comrades Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il," he said, referring to his grandfather and his late father, who died in December. "I express my greetings to our compatriots in South Korea and across the world who dedicate themselves to reunification and the prosperity of the nations."

The celebration comes two days after North Korea failed to launch a rocket that was also part of the anniversary celebrations. The rocket disintegrated shortly after launch, but the move drew anger from the international community, which said North Korea violated international agreements by going forth with the launch. The US and other countries said the launch was cover for testing North Korea's long-range missile abilities.

mz/av (AFP, AP)