North Korea celebrates military anniversary amid rising tension
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 - 01:57
April 25 - North Korea holds a mass indoor rally to mark the 80th anniversary of its army amid increasing tensions on the Korean peninsula. Simon Hanna reports.
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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attends a mass indoor rally to mark the 80th anniversary of one of the world's largest standing armies.
Top ranking North Korean officials were also on the stage, seated in front of portraits of former leaders Kim Jong-il and Kim Il-sung.
The Chief of the North Korean army vowed to defend the nation from any aggression.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) CHIEF OF NORTH KOREAN ARMY RI YONG-HO:
"We will never forgive any invasion of our sacred air, land or sea by enemies and we will make an historical achievement by unifying our fatherland."
A day earlier North Korean state television KRT broadcast military training footage showing soldiers destroying an effigy named after the South Korean president Lee Myung-bak.
The network also showed a rally against Lee by workers of a textile factory in Pyongyang.
South of the border in Seoul, a group of protesters were denouncing the North for what they call their threatening behaviour.
Around 30 elderly demonstrators gathered in front of South Korea's defence ministry to condemn their northern neighbours.
(SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN PROTESTER, BONG TAE-HONG:
"North Korea is continuing to make cheap threats and intimidation using unspeakable words. We're gathered in front of the defence ministry to call on the ministry to make a pinpoint strike against Kim Jong-un's office if the North provokes. We want to take this as an opportunity to destroy the North's dictatorial regime."
Pyongyang received international condemnation for going ahead with a failed rocket launch earlier this month.
Washington, Seoul and Tokyo are concerned that North Korea may now be preparing a nuclear test using highly enriched uranium for the first time.
Simon Hanna, Reuters.
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