North Korea marks late leader's birthday

Kim Jong-il's 70th birthday celebrated with music, fireworks and a military parade reviewed by the new leader.

    Smiling and saluting, North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong-un, has reviewed a parade of thousands of soldiers who vowed to protect him with their lives as the communist country commemorated the 70th birthday of his late father, Kim Jong-il.

    Kim Jong-un, wearing a dark Mao-style suit and a solemn expression, bowed deeply before a large portrait of his smiling father in Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, the capital, on Thursday.

    Hundreds of senior officials, military leaders and citizens followed to pay their respects.

    Outside the palace, a large crowd of North Korean soldiers lined up in neat rows, listening to speeches praising the Kim family.

    Later Kim Jong-un and other officials watched as soldiers marched by, followed by military jeeps and lorries carrying artillery guns and rocket launchers.

    Fireworks exploded, military music boomed and people waved artificial pink and red flowers.

    In the months since Kim Jong-il died, portraits and sculptures praising Kim Jong-un as a wise and brave leader have sprung up across North Korea.

    This week there has been no shortage of tributes, with Kim Jong-il's birthday officially designated as Day of the Shining Star, Al Jazeera's Florence Looi reports.

    He has also been posthumously elevated to the honorary post of Generalissimo, only the second person in the country to be given that title.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Lost childhoods: Nigeria's fear of 'witchcraft' ruins young lives

    Many Pentecostal churches in the Niger Delta offer to deliver people from witchcraft and possession - albeit for a fee.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.