North Korea fires fireworks to celebrate Kim Jong-il’s birthday

North Korea launched fireworks, held concerts and held an outdoor memorial service to mark the 80th birthday of late leader Kim Jong-il.

Bright fireworks yesterday were shot into the sky over Samjiyon city, Ryanggang province, North Korea, to celebrate the 80th birthday of the late leader Kim Jong-il. A concert also took place in Samjiyon city on this occasion. According to the official biography released by North Korea, Kim Jong-il was born in an area of ​​Samjiyon, at the foot of Mount Paekdu.

According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Chairman Kim Jong-un on February 15 and high-ranking officials attended the celebration in Samjiyon amid snowy skies. Mr. Kim placed flowers in front of the statue of his late father.

North Korea set off fireworks on February 15 in Samjiyon city, Ryanggang province, to mark the 80th anniversary of the birth of late leader Kim Jong-il.  Photo: KCNA.

North Korea set off fireworks on February 15 in Samjiyon city, Ryanggang province, to mark the 80th anniversary of the birth of late leader Kim Jong-il. Photo: KCNA.

KCNA did not mention whether Mr. Kim spoke at the ceremony. North Korea did not conduct a military parade or show off missiles during the ceremony.

North Korea has since held several events this week to mark the 80th anniversary of Kim Jong-il’s birth, leaving the outside world wondering if it will hold a large-scale military parade.

The South Korean military said earlier that it had detected signs that the North might have a military parade. However, this parade is likely to take place near April 15, the 110th anniversary of the birth of the late leader Kim Il-sung.

Kim Jong-il was born on February 16, 1942, the son of leader Kim Il-sung, the founder of North Korea. Kim Jong-il led the country from 1994 until his death in December 2011. Current North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is the third son of Kim Jong-il.

Kim Jong-il's birthday celebration was held in front of his statue in Samjiyon.  Photo: KCNA.

Kim Jong-il’s birthday celebration was held in front of his statue in Samjiyon on February 15. Photo: KCNA.

Ngoc Anh (Follow AFP / Yonhap)

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