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Koreas Mark Anniversary of Uprising Against Japanese


Rallies are being held in South Korea Sunday to mark the anniversary of an uprising against Japanese colonial rule. This year's ceremonies are unusual because delegates from North Korea are taking part.

More than 100 members of a delegation from communist North Korea joined Buddhist and Christian ceremonies marking a 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule on the Korean Peninsula.

The events were held at a Catholic cathedral, a Protestant church and a Buddhist temple, among other locations.

Civic leaders from both Koreas on Saturday adopted a joint resolution to celebrate the uprising 84 years ago, in which hundreds of people were killed or injured. The March 1 anniversary is a major holiday in both South and North Korea.

Japan's often brutal rule of Korea ended in 1945, and the peninsula was divided into the communist North and capitalist South.

Some observers say North Korea sent a delegation to attend the South's ceremonies as part of Pyongyang's effort to pry Seoul from its alliance with the United States.

Some members of the North's delegation said at ceremonies that the United States is threatening to attack North Korea. The United States has repeatedly denied any plans for an attack.

The rallies Sunday come a day after a big pro-American rally in front of Seoul's City Hall. Between 30,000 and 100,000 attended that rally, demanding an end to the North's nuclear threat.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula rose last October when the United States said North Korea had admitted pursuing a nuclear development program in violation of a 1994 agreement.

In response, Washington and its allies cut off fuel aid to the impoverished North. Pyongyang has withdrawn from the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and moved to restart idled nuclear facilities that could produce weapons.

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