North Korea celebrates the late Kim Jong II’s birthday
A huge parade was held in Pyongyang on Thursday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the deceased Kim Jong Il’s birthday. The celebrations are aimed at instilling further support for his son and successor Kim Jon Un.
According to CNN, the parade included a military salute with a giant portrait of Kim Jong Il and his predecessor and father Kim Il Sung who founded North Korea in 1948. The platform where the current leader of North Korea stood with his advisors was covered in kimjongilias, the flower named after the deceased.
Celebrations such as this serve to further the Kim dynasty and enforce the power of the newly appointed Kim Jon Un. Gunter Unterbeck, a German national living in Pyongyang spoke to Businessweek. ”The people are mourning Kim Jong Il’s death but it’s more of an internal mourning, without much noise expressed externally,” Unterbeck said.
Kim Jong’s birthdate is a matter of some dispute; in the official version he was born in 1942 but Soviet records indicate he was actually born in 1941. However, his supposed 1942 birth allows for celebrations to be at same time as Kim Il Sung who was born in 1912.
The parade will soon be followed by the 100th anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth in April. That day is the biggest national holiday for North Korea and is known as the “Day of the Sun.”