North Korean Leader and Son Appear at Anniversary Parade

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 2:46 am (UTC-5)
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North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and his heir apparent son, Kim Jong Un, appeared at a military parade Friday celebrating the 63rd anniversary of the communist nation's founding.

North Korean state television showed the elder Kim and his son on the reviewing stand witnessing thousands of troops march through Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, accompanied by columns of motorized units displaying multiple launch rocket systems and other hardware.

Kim Jong Il stood impassively wearing his trademark khaki suit and sunglasses, showing no signs of the apparent stroke he suffered in 2008.

Earlier Friday, the father and son visited the embalmed body of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, the elder Kim's father, at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace.

Kim Jong Un was elevated to the rank of general and given senior posts in the North's ruling Workers' Party last year, a clear sign that he will continue the hereditary line of succession.

Across the border in South Korea, about 100 activists floated 300,000 balloons attached with anti-Pyongyang leaflets over the heavily fortified border.