April 15, 2013 11:39
North Korea lashed out at the South Korean media on Sunday for being insufficiently enthusiastic about anniversary celebrations for nation founder Kim Il-sung. The impoverished country called South Korean reports about the extravagant celebrations "another grandiose kind of ugly provocation that can never be pardoned."
In a statement, a spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland denounced the South Korean government for letting the media get away with reports that portrayed the lavish festivities as inappropriate at a time of food shortages and increasingly belligerent rhetoric in the North.
North Korea is getting increasingly frantic in attacks on the South Korean press, which has conspicuously ignored calls to respect the regime’s elusive "dignity."
The statement accused Seoul of "casting dirt on compatriots for observing a festive day," while calling the Park Geun-hye administration a "traitorous clique" that is no different from its predecessor, the Lee Myung-bak government.
Since last week, various kinds of events have been held, including an art festival, a Kim Il-sung flower festival, and a national sports festival. The official Rodong Sinmun even shunted the bellicose rhetoric of editorials from the front page to the back pages and reduced their length.
On Sunday, the North Korean government, party and military leadership solemnly marked the occasion of Kim Il-sung's 101st birthday. Kim Yong-nam, the chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly, stressed the need to "increase the stockpile of nuclear weapons and engage in a more resolute confrontation against the U.S. to cope with a warlike situation."
Leader Kim Jong-un did not attend the event but paid his respects to his grandfather's embalmed corpse at the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun at midnight Monday.
No military parade is expected this year.
A Unification Ministry official said, "Last year, the regime carried out an unprecedented parade because of the symbolic nature of the Kim's 100th birthday, but normally there are no parades" on the anniversary.
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