North Korea is observing the 72nd anniversary of the birth of its late leader, Kim Jong Il, an event called "The Day of the Shining Star."
Crowds in Pyongyang laid flowers Sunday at the feet of giant statues of Kim Jong Il and his father, the founder of the Stalinist state, Kim Il Sung.
Signs and decorations marking Mr. Kim's birthday went up around Pyongyang Saturday, but there have so far been no large-scale parades or other celebrations on Sunday.
The Kim family has ruled North Korea for more than six decades. Kim Jong Il, who died of a heart attack in December of 2011, was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Un.