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North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has attended a massive civilian parade in the capital celebrating the anniversary of the birth of his grandfather who founded the country.

Thousands of people marched in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in a choreographed display of loyalty to the Kim family, state media has reported, but there was no mention of a speech or comments made by Kim during Friday’s event.

It seems that the country celebrated its biggest holiday without showcasing military hardware amid heightened tensions over its nuclear programme.  

Commercial satellite images in recent weeks have suggested that preparations are under way for a large military parade in Pyongyang, which could take place on 25 April, the founding anniversary of North Korea‘s army.

It is expected that North Korea will then display the most advanced weapons in the nuclear arsenal such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

There is also expectation that Pyongyang will further escalate its weapons testing in the coming weeks or months, possibly including a resumption of nuclear explosive tests or test-flying missiles over Japan, as it attempts to force a response from the Biden administration, which is preoccupied with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a rivalry with China.

State media images showed Mr Kim waving from a balcony looking over Kim Il Sung Square, which is named after his grandfather, as huge columns of people carrying red plastic flowers and floats with political slogans marched below.

He was also pictured visiting the Kumususan Palace of the Sun with his wife Ri Jol Su for the 110th anniversary of his grandfather.

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has attended a massive civilian parade with thousands in the capital celebrating the anniversary of the birth of his grandfather who founded the country (pictured waving to the public)

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has attended a massive civilian parade with thousands in the capital celebrating the anniversary of the birth of his grandfather who founded the country (pictured waving to the public)

North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un has attended a massive civilian parade with thousands in the capital celebrating the anniversary of the birth of his grandfather who founded the country (pictured waving to the public)

Thousands of people marched in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in a choreographed display of loyalty to the Kim family, state media has reported, but there was no mention of a speech or comments made by Kim during Friday's event

Thousands of people marched in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in a choreographed display of loyalty to the Kim family, state media has reported, but there was no mention of a speech or comments made by Kim during Friday's event

Thousands of people marched in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang in a choreographed display of loyalty to the Kim family, state media has reported, but there was no mention of a speech or comments made by Kim during Friday’s event

Commercial satellite images in recent weeks have suggested that preparations are under way for a large military parade in Pyongyang, which could take place on 25 April, the founding anniversary of North Korea's army. It is expected that North Korea will then display the most advanced weapons in the nuclear arsenal such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)

Commercial satellite images in recent weeks have suggested that preparations are under way for a large military parade in Pyongyang, which could take place on 25 April, the founding anniversary of North Korea's army. It is expected that North Korea will then display the most advanced weapons in the nuclear arsenal such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)

Commercial satellite images in recent weeks have suggested that preparations are under way for a large military parade in Pyongyang, which could take place on 25 April, the founding anniversary of North Korea’s army. It is expected that North Korea will then display the most advanced weapons in the nuclear arsenal such as intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)

Ri Il Hwan, a member of the ruling Workers’ Party’s Politburo, issued a call for loyalty during a speech, saying that North Koreans will ‘always emerge victorious’ under Mr Kim’s guidance.

The parade came hours before thousands of young people performed a mass dance in the square as fireworks launched from a nearby riverbank lit up the night sky.

Kim Il Sung’s birthday is the most important national holiday in North Korea, where the Kim family has ruled under a strong personality cult since the nation’s founding in 1948.

This week’s celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of his birth came as his grandson revives nuclear brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power and remove crippling economic sanctions.

North Korea has opened 2022 with a series of weapons tests, including its first flight test of an ICBM since 2017.

South Korea’s military has also detected signs that North Korea is rebuilding tunnels at a nuclear testing ground it partially dismantled weeks before Mr Kim’s first summit with then-US president Donald Trump in June 2018.

Mr Kim’s defiant displays of his military might are also motivated by domestic politics, experts say, as he does not otherwise have significant accomplishments to trumpet to his people after a decade in rule.

His stated goals of simultaneously developing nuclear weapons and bringing economic prosperity to his impoverished populace derailed after the collapse of his second summit with Mr Trump in 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a limited surrender of its nuclear capabilities.

The Covid-19 pandemic unleashed further shock on his broken economy, forcing him to acknowledge last year that the North was facing its ‘worst-ever situation’.

Kim Il Sung's birthday is the most important national holiday in North Korea, where the Kim family has ruled under a strong personality cult since the nation's founding in 1948 (Kim Jong-Un pictured visiting the Kumususan Palace of the Sun with his wife Ri Jol Su for the 110th anniversary of his grandfather Kim II Sung)

Kim Il Sung's birthday is the most important national holiday in North Korea, where the Kim family has ruled under a strong personality cult since the nation's founding in 1948 (Kim Jong-Un pictured visiting the Kumususan Palace of the Sun with his wife Ri Jol Su for the 110th anniversary of his grandfather Kim II Sung)

Kim Il Sung’s birthday is the most important national holiday in North Korea, where the Kim family has ruled under a strong personality cult since the nation’s founding in 1948 (Kim Jong-Un pictured visiting the Kumususan Palace of the Sun with his wife Ri Jol Su for the 110th anniversary of his grandfather Kim II Sung)

This week's celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of his birth came as his grandson revives nuclear brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power and remove crippling economic sanctions

This week's celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of his birth came as his grandson revives nuclear brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power and remove crippling economic sanctions

This week’s celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of his birth came as his grandson revives nuclear brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept the idea of North Korea as a nuclear power and remove crippling economic sanctions

There is also expectation that Pyongyang will further escalate its weapons testing in the coming weeks or months, possibly including a resumption of nuclear explosive tests or test-flying missiles over Japan, as it attempts to force a response from the Biden administration, which is preoccupied with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a rivalry with China

There is also expectation that Pyongyang will further escalate its weapons testing in the coming weeks or months, possibly including a resumption of nuclear explosive tests or test-flying missiles over Japan, as it attempts to force a response from the Biden administration, which is preoccupied with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a rivalry with China

There is also expectation that Pyongyang will further escalate its weapons testing in the coming weeks or months, possibly including a resumption of nuclear explosive tests or test-flying missiles over Japan, as it attempts to force a response from the Biden administration, which is preoccupied with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a rivalry with China

Earlier this week, Kim was been seen puffing away on a cigarette and looking back to his usual chubby self just months after slimming down ‘for the sake of the country’. 

State media video from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) showed the chunky dictator attending the completion ceremony of major housing project to adoring crowds in Pyongyang.

And while there was little they could do to conceal the return of his protruding belly, they made the decision to show a clip of him smoking while chatting to his generals during celebrations for the completion of 10,000 housing units, including an 80-story building.

North Korea passed a tough new law just 18 months ago forbidding smoking in public places, so the images technically depict their dear leader breaking the law. 

The dictatorship has also been grappling with severe food shortages, prompting Mr Kim to eat less ‘for the sake of the country’, government officials said last year.

Eyebrows were raised when photos and videos of the usually chubby despot looking gaunt last December, with speculation about his health after he had disappeared from public view for for months.

Mr Kim disappeared from public view between January and May last year. He returned 40lbs lighter looking ’emaciated’, according to his own state television, sparking speculating as to whether the weight loss was deliberate or due to illness.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves as he attends a national meeting and a public procession to mark 110th birth anniversary of the state's founder, Kim II Sung, in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves as he attends a national meeting and a public procession to mark 110th birth anniversary of the state's founder, Kim II Sung, in Pyongyang

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves as he attends a national meeting and a public procession to mark 110th birth anniversary of the state’s founder, Kim II Sung, in Pyongyang

People lay flowers before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Mansudae Art Studio, as part of celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, known as the 'Day of the Sun'

People lay flowers before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Mansudae Art Studio, as part of celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, known as the 'Day of the Sun'

People lay flowers before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at the Mansudae Art Studio, as part of celebrations marking the 110th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il Sung, known as the ‘Day of the Sun’

Last week, North Korea praised Kim Jong-Un’s leadership in a celebration marking 10 years in charge of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. 

New exhibitions and portraits were unveiled in the national meeting on Monday, which applauded the North Korean dictator in his development of nuclear weapons and his political achievements. 

Kim is considered to have assumed power when he was named supreme commander of the military after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in December 2011, but he was elected as the top party and state leader on 11 April 2012.

The Kim family has ruled the one-party state for its entire history.

In a speech at a national meeting on Sunday, Choe Ryong Hae, member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and one of the most senior officials under Kim, praised the North Korean leader as ‘a gifted thinker and theoretician, outstanding statesman and peerlessly great commander’.

Mr Ryong Hae called Kim ‘a peerless patriot and a great defender of peace’ for making North Korea ‘a full-fledged military power equipped with all powerful physical means of self-defence’.

He added that despite facing unprecedented difficulties, Kim had opened up a ‘new era for North Korea’ as a ‘powerful socialist nation’ prospering and developing with ‘self-sustenance and self-reliance’.

Source: dailymail

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