January 06, 2010 09:38
North Korea has reportedly designated Jan. 8, the birthday of leader Kim Jong-il's third son and heir apparent, as a national holiday, according to a group of North Korean defectors on Tuesday.
"The Secretariat of the North Korean Workers Party's Central Committee has sent instructions to nationwide party organizations to 'meaningfully commemorate Comrade Kim Jong-un's birthday,'" North Korea Intellectuals Solidarity quoted a North Korean source as saying. "In the instructions, the secretariat stressed the need to formally designate Jan. 8 as a national day to celebrate Kim junior's birthday and called him 'our eternal future' and 'another leader who has perfectly inherited the Baekdu lineage.'" Mt. Baekdu is the purported birthplace of Kim Jong-il, though he was actually born in the Soviet Union.
Kim senior's birthday on Feb. 16 became a national holiday in 1975, the year after he was chosen as the heir apparent.
Quoting another North Korean source, Radio Free Asia reported North Korea will hold massive celebrations on Kim Jong-un's birthday. The North imported huge amounts of fireworks from China in November and December, apparently for the celebrations.
A senior South Korean government official said the celebrations are apparently being planned, but it is not clear whether Jan. 8 will become a national holiday.
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