North Korea held festive celebrations Wednesday to mark the birth of the country's founding leader, just one day after announcing it was kicking out United Nations nuclear inspectors and restarting its atomic weapons program.

State media said Day of the Sun celebrations - a holiday marking the birth of Kim Il Sung - were held in the capital.

Tens of thousands lined up to visit the late leader's birthplace in Pyongyang, and state television aired documentaries and special programs dedicated to his memory.

State media also called for unshakable loyalty toward his son and current North Korean leader - Kim Jong Il.  Reports credited Mr. Kim with what was called a successful satellite launch earlier this month in defiance of the international community.

The U.N. issued a strong statement earlier this week condemning that launch, and North Korea responded by kicking out nuclear inspectors and withdrawing from six-party talks on ending its nuclear weapons programs.

Countries taking part in aid-for-disarmament talks have responded by urging Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table. 



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