Kim Jong-il birthday: North watches tributes, South sends propaganda balloons

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Kim Jong-il birthday: North watches tributes, South sends propaganda balloons

Post by Joe Bese on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:24 am

Paju, South Korea
South and North Koreans observed North Korean leader Kim Jong-il’s birthday Wednesday – albiet in quite different ways. South Korean activists fired off leaflets proclaiming North Korea a “Republic of the Fat,” while North Koreans spent the day, among other things, watching films honoring their leader and viewing displays of figure-skating and “Kimjongilia" flowers – and trying to stay warm.

Mr. Kim’s exact age is unclear – it depends on whether he was born in 1941 or 1942, and whether his date of birth counts as his first birthday, in accordance with Korean custom.

But whatever his age, the observances north and south of the line between the two Koreas dramatized North-South tensions in a period of deadly incidents and failed moves toward reconciliation. For the first time, the conservative government of President Lee Myung-bak openly supported nongovernmental organizations lofting balloons northward with bundles of leaflets bearing insulting messages.

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2011/0216/Kim-Jong-il-birthday-North-watches-tributes-South-sends-propaganda-balloons


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Joe Bese

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