It is the Day of the Sun in North Korea, a day which celebrates the 101st anniversary of the birth of the state’s founder Kim Il-Sung. As is traditional it was marked with flowers but no parade to showcase the country’s military muscle as some expected.
From neighbours South Korea there was little in the way of congratulatory messages but a stark warning that the North’s survival could be in question without change and development. Tension is still in the diplomatic air after the North flatly rejected an offer of talks from the South.“The South Korean authorities offered dialogue, if they sincerely want dialogue, then they have to abandon their hostile feelings towards us, and stop their ongoing nuclear war exercise,” remarked one local resident.
In Tokyo US Secretary of State John Kerry emphasised Washington was “open to authentic and credible negotiations on denuclearisation.” His trip was aimed at putting pressure on Beijing to act decisively to implement UN sanctions following the North’s nuclear arms test in February.
As the region showed its military might China’s People’s Daily, the Chinese Communist Party paper warned that tensions could get out of control. North Korea has repeatedly stressed it fears the United States wants to invade it.