N. Korea observes birthday of founder

April 15, 2013 at 12:09 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 15 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Monday paid tribute to his late grandfather Kim Il Sung on his 101st birthday, even as his regime kept up its war-like posture.

The unpredictable young leader, whose 16-month-old regime has unrelentingly issued nuclear and missile attack threats against the United States, South Korea and Japan, took time to pay tribute to Kim Il Sung, his grandfather and founder of what is now an isolated, impoverished Communist country.

During the midnight observance, the young Kim visited a mausoleum both for his grandfather and his late father Kim Jong Il to mark the older Kim's 101st birthday, the North's official media said.

The leader was accompanied by members of the country's top military brass to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the resting place for the late leaders in Pyongyang, to pay "high tribute and humblest reverence" to them, Yonhap News reported, citing the official Korean Central News Agency.

Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea remained on high alert for any imminent ballistic missile test from North Korea, which could be undertaken to coincide with the birthday observance.

KCNA reported Kim and senior military officers presented floral baskets in the name of North Korean workers party's Central Military Commission and National Defense Commission.

In other developments, an official for North Korea's Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea rejected as not being sincere South Korean President Park Geun-hye's offer last week for a dialogue, KCNA reported.

The report, carried by China's Xinhua News Agency, said if South Korea wants to conduct a dialogue, it should first drop its confrontational attitude and apologize for its "past crimes."

In the offer, both President Park Geun-hye and South Korea's Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae separately urged Pyongyang to enter talks.

The ongoing joint military drill between South Korea and the United States, and the wording used by leaders in Seoul in proposing dialogue showed the South continued to taunt Pyongyang and a dialogue under such circumstances would head no where, the committee official said.

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