North Korea held its 7th National Conference of War Veterans this week to commemorate the 68th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. Photo by KCNA
July 28 (UPI) -- North Korea observed "Victory Day" on a grander scale than last year, and Kim Jong Un focused on domestic affairs on the 68th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, according to a South Korean press report.
A South Korean unification ministry official told local news service News 1 that the North celebrated the anniversary with events for elderly North Korean veterans of the 1950-53 war, concerts and youth league reunions amid COVID-19.
The "scale of events" was comparable to those held before the pandemic, the official said, according to the report.
Kim Jong Un made an appearance at North Korea's 7th National Conference of War Veterans and delivered a speech that was "similar" to past anniversary speeches, the South's official said.
North Korea's Rodong Sinmun reported Tuesday that Kim paid his respects to fallen North Korean soldiers.
"Even if the years pass and the generations change 100 times, the noble revolutionary spirit and heroic feats of the war-victorious generation will ceaselessly carry on the patriotism and fervor for struggle to future generations and vigorously advance our people toward a new victory in the revolution," Kim said.
Kim steered clear of references to North Korea's military and did not mention nuclear weapons or the regime's nuclear deterrent. News 1's source said they had "no comment" on the omission.
North Korea claims it won the Korean War in 1953 and has said "U.S. imperialists" began the conflict. The war began after North Korean troops coordinated an attack at several points and captured Seoul, triggering a refugee crisis.
The Rodong on Tuesday also mentioned North Korea founder Kim Il Sung. Kim was described as a hero "unprecedented in national history and world revolutionary history."
"Our people, subjected to all kinds of abuse and contempt under Japanese colonial rule, began to realize what human dignity and happiness were" after Kim came to power, the Rodong said.