News / Asia

Amid Tensions with South, North Koreans Mark 'Day of the Sun' Holiday

North Korean women in traditional dresses pose for a souvenir photograph in front of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Munsu Hill in Pyongyang on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
North Korean women in traditional dresses pose for a souvenir photograph in front of bronze statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Munsu Hill in Pyongyang on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
VOA News
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the mausoleum of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, on Tuesday, the 102nd birth anniversary of the country's late founding leader.

The anniversary, known as the Day of the Sun, is a major holiday for North Koreans. Many gather to pledge their loyalty and pay respects at portraits or statues of the leader.

State television showed Kim Jong Un, accompanied by senior military officials, at Pyongyang's Kumsusan Palace, where the embalmed body of his grandfather is displayed.

The body of Kim's father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, also lies in state at the palace. The three generations of Kim leaders hold an almost God-like status in North Korea.

Meanwhile, protesters burned and trampled on pictures of the three Kims during an anti-North Korea protest in Seoul.

One of the protesters, Park Chan-sung, called for more sanctions against Pyongyang, which he said is a threat to the international community.

"North Korea has fired missiles into the East Sea and it is reportedly preparing a fourth nuclear test now. Our South Korean people strongly condemn the North's dictatorship on the birthday of Kim Il Sung, 'The Day of Sun,'" said Park.

At South Korea's defense ministry, spokesman Kim Min-Seok said the North's celebrations appeared to be less elaborate than in past years, when the day served as a show of military strength.

"It seems that North Korea is not preparing for any large-scale military parade. Also, the possibility for North Korea's large-scale firing demonstration is not that high at this point. Even though it can sporadically take place. However, it is understood that North Korea is ready to launch missiles at any time, so South Korean and the U.S. intelligence agencies are keeping close watch and tracing any missile movements," said Kim.

Tensions are high following a series of North Korean rocket and missile tests last month. On March 31, the two Koreas also exchanged artillery fire into one another's waters.

Following the exchange, South Korean officials found a crudely built, unmanned and unarmed aircraft in the area. They later revealed that two other drones had been found.

Seoul believes the drones belong to North Korea. Pyongyang denied the charge, offering to assist in a South Korean government investigation into who was responsible.

On Tuesday, South Korea's defense ministry rejected the offer, saying it is "not worth considering" and is part of a "psychological war" against the South.

The developments come as United States and South Korean troops prepare to end their annual large-scale, joint military drill, known as Foal Eagle, which began in February.

Washington and Seoul say the exercise is defensive in nature, but North Korea says it views the drills as preparation to invade.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Christmas Gains Popularity in Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid