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Kim Jong Un commemorates death anniversary of North Korea founder

By Elizabeth Shim
Kim Jong Un commemorates death anniversary of North Korea founder
Kim Jong Un made a public appearance on Saturday in Pyongyang, on the 23rd death anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung. File Photo by How Hwee Young/EPA

July 7 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un paid his respects to biological grandfather Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang Saturday, local time, to mark the 23rd anniversary of the founder's death on July 8, 1994.

Pyongyang's state-controlled KCNA reported Kim visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun at 8 a.m.

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Members of North Korea's armed forces responsible for the "successful" launch of the country's latest missile, the Hwasong-14, accompanied the North Korean leader, according to the North Korean statement.

Kim reportedly received a "reception report" from senior officials in North Korea's army, navy and air force at the location. He also offered a basket of flowers before the statues of his ancestors.

Kim has observed the death anniversary of North Korea's founder for six consecutive years since fully assuming power in 2012.

The North Korean leader has continued to carry out his father's policies that include building an arsenal of nuclear weapons condemned by the international community.

Pyongyang's neighbors have called for a nuclear freeze, and North Korea's provocations dominated discussions among world leaders at the G20 summit.

In Hamburg, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to work toward a nonproliferation regime, Kyodo News reported Friday.

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Abe reportedly told the Russian leader Moscow must "play a major role in talks." Putin said he is looking into putting an end to actions that "contradict" the nuclear nonproliferation regime, according to the report.

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