Rare live footage that aired on Korean Central Television at noon in observance of the anniversary showed pedestrians in the capital of Pyongyang stopping on the streets and in Kim Il Sung Square as sirens, amplified by loudspeakers, rang for 3 minutes.
North Korean citizens could be seen observing the moment in silence as they turned their heads in the direction of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where the North Korean founder's embalmed body lies inside a clear glass sarcophagus.
Later at 3 p.m., KCTV showed recorded footage of current leader Kim Jong Un attending a memorial at Pyongyang Gymnasium.
Senior aide Choi Ryong Hae delivered remarks at the ceremony, praising Kim Il Sung for founding an independent nation, a military and a Workers' Party built on the foundation of "self-reliance," Yonhap news agency reported.
Kim Jong Un was seen wearing a badge featuring his father Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung on the left side of his chest. He also wore a black Workers' Party suit.
The North Korean leader is believed to have attended memorials at Kumsusan for his biological grandfather annually from 2012 to 2017. In 2018, Kim likely attended the memorial but no official report was released, according to Yonhap.
"Participants flew high the banner of Kim Il Sung-Kim Jong Il, and accepted the ideology and spirit of the respected supreme leader Kim Jong Un. They pledged their determination to complete the socialist cause of Juche [self-reliance] by taking maximum responsibility," KCNA said in statement.
Kim Il Sung died on July 8, 1994. North Korea mourned his death for a month when sirens rang regularly throughout the country, according to defectors' testimonies.