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North Korea celebrates Kim Jong Il's birthday


North Korea

North Korea celebrates Kim Jong Il's birthday

North Koreans are celebrating what would have been former leader Kim Jong Il’s 71st birthday.

Since his death in December 2011, February 16 has been a national holiday called “The Day of the Shining Star”.

Many people took flowers to the statue of Kim which stands alongside one of his father Kim Il Sung on Mansu Hill in the capital Pyongyang.

The third generation of the family to lead the country, Kim Jong Un, and his wife Ri Sol Ju attended a commemoration of his father’s birthday at Kumsusan Palace. His grandfather’s birthday on April 15 is also a national holiday.

North Korean defectors in South Korea staged a protest urging Pyongyang stop missile and nuclear tests, with slogans describing them as “provocative acts”.

Last December, a long range rocket was launched which Pyongyang said was to carry the wishes of Kim Jong Il.

In addition, North Korea conducted its third nuclear test on Tuesday, drawing international criticism.

There are reports North Korea has told ally China that there could be one or two more this year.

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