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In Pictures: North Korea Celebrates The Birthday Of Its Founder Amid Threats Of War
April 15, 2013
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With all the provocative rhetoric from North Korea of late, the world is keeping a close eye on a big event there today.

North Korea is celebrating the 101st birthday of its first leader Kim Il-sung, which raised fears it might use the occasion to carry out a new missile test.

Kim Il-sung is officially revered in North Korea as the country's founder, and huge crowds of people in the capital Pyongyang came out to honour him.

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They climbed Mansu Hill to lay flowers and bow at the feet of two giant bronze statues - one of Kim Il-sung and one of his late son Kim Jong-il, North Korea's 2nd president.

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It is customary for North Koreans to lay flowers at images and statues of the Kims on major anniversaries and holidays.

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All of this comes during a particularly tense time between North Korea and the international community, as the North has threatened to attack .

No one knows for sure how seriously to take North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un, but South Korea is on high alert - believing the North could carry out a missile launch anytime.

North Korea has warned it can't guarantee the safety of foreigners in the country and said embassies in Pyongyang should think about moving people out.

Today, people in the South Korean capital Seoul protested against the North's tactics and rhetoric.

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They burned effigies of the three North Korean leaders and defaced a North Korean flag.

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has warned the North not to conduct a missile test, saying it "will raise people's temperatures" and further isolate North Korea and its people.

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen echoed that saying, "NATO strongly condemns North Korea's provocative rhetoric and provocative actions. They pose a serious threat to regional and international peace, security and stability."

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