Kim’s father’s birthday… an unusual celebration

The agency added that Kim attended a meeting of the government, the army and officials of the ruling Workers’ Party held, on Tuesday, in front of the statue of Kim Jong Il in Samgyeon to celebrate his father’s birthday, an official holiday called Bright Star Day.

The agency called Samgyeon the “holy land of the revolution”, which is close to the border with China and the sacred Mount Paektu from which the Kim family says its roots.

But it is rare in North Korea to hold such celebrations in this remote region.

The current leader of the country has sought to transform the city into a major economic center by constructing new apartments, hotels, a ski resort, and commercial, cultural and medical facilities.

The agency noted that Kim laid a wreath in front of his father’s statue during the meeting, but did not publish any of his statements.

The festivities also included a fireworks display and a music show, but without any military parades, as was customary before.

Television showed clips showing crowds of citizens wearing masks and watching fireworks, and a group of party officials attending a music performance.

And a US think tank said last week that satellite images showed possible preparations for a military parade that might include new missiles or modern military equipment.

Analysts said Pyongyang may use important holidays, including the 110th birthday of Kim’s late grandfather and founder Kim Il Sung on April 15, to conduct major weapons tests.

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