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North Korea Celebrates Birthday of Late National Founder


North Korea is celebrating the birthday of its late national founder, Kim Il Sung, amid international concerns about the country's nuclear ambitions.

State media reports say North Koreans attended government-sponsored events Saturday to commemorate the "Day of the Sun."

Kim Il Sung died in 1994 but maintains a cult following and is considered the country's "eternal president." He was succeeded by his son, Kim Jong Il, who enjoys the same revered status in North Korea as his late father.

State media quote government officials today as saying the country must defend itself against foreign interference.

North Korea announced Thursday it would continue to boost its nuclear arsenal as long as six-nation disarmament talks remain stalled.

China, Russia, Japan, South Korea and the United States have tried for three years to persuade North Korea to end its nuclear program.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.