February 16, 2015 08:24
A firework show that lit up the Pyongyang skyline celebrated the 73rd anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il Sunday night.
Kim Jong-il was born Feb. 16, 1941, and died Dec. 17, 2011.
The former leader ruled for 17 years, overseeing a period that included a famine in the 1990s that killed hundreds of thousands of people and raised international tensions over the country's attempts to build nuclear weapons.
The country's biggest holiday of the year, marked by military parades and mass performances, is the April 15 birthday of founding president Kim Il-sung -- Kim Jong-il's father and present leader Kim Jong-un's grandfather.
The United States expanded sanctions against North Korea late last month after blaming Pyongyang for a hacking attack on Sony Corp.
Material for this report came from Reuters and AP.
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