Kim Jong Il’s 69th birthday has apparently seen public events on a similar level to most previous years.
A spokesperson for the South Korean Ministry of Unification, Lee Jong Ju told today’s regular press briefing, “On every birthday or commemorative day in years which are a multiple of five, North Korea celebrates on a large scale. However, since this is not such a year, the scale and concept of events seems to be on a conventional level.”
Lee went on, “As usual, a February 16th commemorative convention was held yesterday in Pyongyang, with a report delivered by Kim Young Nam, the Supreme People’s Committee Permanent Chairperson.”
According to Lee, Kim Young Nam offered up the following: praise for Kim Jong Il’s achievements, an emphasis on loyalty, a demand for greater efforts to construct the strong and prosperous state by 2012, and a stinging denouncement of South Korean administration policy on the North.
Elsewhere, Lee explained, “Since late last month, various areas of North Korea have had loyalty oath gatherings, commemorative events, visits to historical revolutionary sites, screenings of movies, performances and exhibitions at every level.”
She added, “During that period, the North Korean media have released daily idolization-related reports. They have shown off Kim Jong Il’s representative achievements, such as the Party Delegates’ Conference of last year, juche fabric, juche steel, CNC technology, a rigorous schedule of onsite inspections and more.”
This has even included reports of supernatural phenomena, Lee noted.
Kim Jong Il’s birthday and the next day have been official holidays since 1986, and so even factories in the Kaesong Complex are closed for the duration.