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N. Korea marks anniversary of former leader's assumption of power

North Korea celebrated the 20th anniversary of former leader Kim Jong-il's ascent to power Sunday, pledging to uphold his legacy of fighting against its archenemy the United States and building a powerful socialist nation.

The North's state media released eulogies on the achievements of the father of incumbent leader Kim Jong-un. 


Some 100,000 people, including top officials, participated in a rally in central Pyongyang, and a large firework display will be held in the capital in the evening, the North's news outlets reported.

Kim Jong-il, a son of the national founder Kim Il-sung, was elected general secretary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in 1997 and ruled the country until he died in December 2011.

"Though he passed away, the DPRK people have been proud of upholding him as the eternal general secretary of the WPK," said the North's news agency, the KCNA. DPRK stands for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Choe Ryong-hae, the party's vice chairman, emphasized the current leader's dual goals of nuclear armament and economic development during the rally.

"We should defeat plots of sanctions and pressure and occupy the strategic highland of five-year national economic development by creating swift achievements in production and construction," he said in his congratulatory address.

He called on the nation to rally to win "the final fight" against the US and cope with the current highly volatile situation. (Yonhap)
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