N Korea fetes birthday for Jong-il with army parade
North Koreans bow in front of a portrait of the country’s late leader Jong-il. AP photoNorth Korea’s military paraded yesterday to mark the birthday of late leader Kim Jong-il, pledging to defend his son and successor Kim Jong-un with their lives and crush enemy forces if attacked.
Battles can break out without warning, military chief Ri Yong-Ho told the televised ceremony, vowing to “wipe out U.S. imperialists and South Korean puppet traitors” and reunify the peninsula in case of war.
“Kim Jong-Un! Protect him with all our might!” roared thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force.
The parade outside Pyongyang’s Kumsusan Memorial Palace marked the changing of its name to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the announcer said, in a tribute to the late leader and to his own father and founding president Kim Il-sung. State television also aired extensive file footage of the former leader visiting villages, farms and factories in a purported expression of care for his people.