North Korea celebrates 'day of victory'

North Korea celebrates 'day of victory'

Thousands of North Korean veterans vowed on Friday to uphold the military-first policy and remain loyal to new leader Kim Jong-Un in a rally marking what the North calls its victory in the 1950-53 conflict.

The indoor rally in Pyongyang drew about 3,000 war veterans with decorations on their chests, state television showed. “We must absolutely follow respected leader Kim Jong-Un and defend him with our lives,” vice marshal Choe Ryong-Hae said in a speech, adding the North’s military is ready to crush enemy forces if attacked.

Across the country, soldiers, workers and students laid floral baskets and bouquets before the statues of late founding leader Kim Il-Sung who died in 1994 and his son Kim Jong-Il who died last December, state media said.

“People across the country visited statues of the president (Kim Il-Sung) in their residential areas to pay homage to him on the same occasion,” the  official news agency said.

The conflict began with a North Korean invasion of the South and ended on July 27, 1953, with an armistice. The truce was never followed by a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically at war. The North was saved from defeat when Chinese forces intervened in late 1950 to support it against US-led United Nations forces backing the South.

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