Kim Jong-un attends event commemorating late father’s 80th birthday

Seoul, Feb 16 (EFE).- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attended an event commemorating the 80th birth anniversary of his late father, Kim Jong-il, state-run news agency KCNA reported Wednesday.

The “national meeting” took place on Tuesday in front of the former dictator’s statue in the city of Samjiyon in the northwest of the country.

This was the first time that the ceremony was not held in the country’s capital, Pyongyang.

Kim Jong-un attended the meeting along with other senior officials of the regime, including his sister Kim Yo-jong and Ri Il-hwan, a member of the political bureau of the central committee of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

A floral basket in the name of the North Korean leader was laid in front of Kim Jong-il’s statue located in a square in Samjiyon, according to KCNA.

The state media did not report whether Kim gave a speech at the event, nor if he visited – as he usually does on this date – Kumsusan Palace of Sun, where the embalmed bodies of his father Kim Jong-il (1941-2011) and grandfather Kim Il-sung (1912-1994) are kept.

The North Korean dictator has been paying tribute to his father on his birth anniversary with visits to the mausoleum every year since coming to power in late 2011.

Last week, North Korea kicked off cultural events and ceremonies to commemorate Kim Kong-il’s 80th birth anniversary.

South Korean intelligence services have also detected preparations for a possible military parade, of which there has been no report as of now.

North Korea usually holds massive military events or parades during the ruling party’s quintennial or decennial anniversaries (after every five or ten years) when the final number of the year ends in five or zero.

After Kim Jong-il’s death in 2011, Pyongyang held major events in 2012 and 2017 to respectively commemorate the 70th and 75th birth anniversaries of the late dictator, who was actually born in 1941 – not in 1942 as the regime claims-, according to Soviet records.

The absence of military vehicles in the rehearsals observed via satellite have led experts to believe that the regime may display them at another parade to be held on Apr. 15.

On Apr. 15 – called the “Day of the Sun” and the most important public holiday – North Korea will commemorate the 110th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder and Kim Jong-un’s grandfather. EFE


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