North Korea celebrates its founder
North Korea's reclusive leader Kim Jong Il has made a rare public appearance as the country marks the anniversary of the death of his father, the communist state’s late founder Kim Il Sung.
He appeared at the memorial ceremony in Pyongyang, attended by hundreds of military and government officials.
Kim Jong Il came to power after his father’s death in 1994.
The celebrations come amid intense speculations over North Korea’s next ruler, with the frail 67-year-old current leader expected to hand over power to one of his sons.
Tensions are high with concerns over Kim’s poor health and the threat to world security by North Korea's missile tests.
“The most important thing now is the transition of power within the family, but it may not necessarily be his son,” says Pavel Leshakov, Director of Moscow’s Korean Studies Centre.
He also mentioned that the global community should not become so excited regarding the testing of weaponry, as testing it is necessary from time to time.
“North Korea is simply trying to make it political,” says Leshakov.
“The international community has more important things right now, and isolating North Korea is not a good way of dealing with them.”