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N.Korea focuses on internal unity on late leader's birth anniversary
N.Korea focuses on internal unity on late leader's birth anniversary

Seoul, Feb 17 (TIWN): North Korea appears to have focused on boosting internal unity on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the birth of the country's late former leader Kim Jong-il, instead of using it as a chance to send a new major message to the outside world, a Seoul official said Thursday.

Pyongyang has been holding various events to mark the Feb. 16 anniversary, with leader Kim Jong-un attending a national meeting held in the northwestern city of Samjiyon, Tuesday, to pay tribute to his late father, according to the North's state media.

"North Korea appears to have used the holiday as an opportunity to bolster internal unity, rather than as a venue to deliver messages to the outside world," an official at the Ministry of Unification, handling inter-Korean relations, told reporters.

South Korea's military earlier said it detected signs of the secretive regime gearing up for a large-scale military parade. But it could be held on the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the birth of Kim's late grandfather and national founder, Kim Il-sung, April 15, given that the preparations seem to be still in their early stages.

The North says Kim Jong-il was born Feb. 16, 1942, in a Samjiyon area located at the foot of Mount Baekdu. He ruled the country for nearly two decades and died in 2011. 

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