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MOSCOW, September 10 (Itar-Tass) —— Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Friday congratulated the leader of the DPRK Kim Jong Il upon the 63rd anniversary of the republic.
"On September 9, 1948 on Korean soil there emerged a new sovereign state. All these years our countries have shared not only a common border, but also traditional relations of friendship and cooperation,” says the congratulatory message from the Russian head of state, available on the Kremlin’s website.
"I recall with warmth our recent meeting in Ulan-Ude,” the president said. “I confirm Russia's interest in the development of mutually beneficial relations with the DPRK, in joint efforts to promote peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia as a whole."
Medvedev wished the leader of North Korea's "health and welfare," and its citizens, continued success.
The festivities on the occasion of the country's anniversary began for many Koreans with a visit to the Kumsusan memorial complex and the tomb of Kim Il Sung. The DPRK leader Kim Jong Il was the first to arrive there to lay flowers at the statue of Kim Il Sung, and then visited the room where the body of “the great leader” of the Korean people, dressed in a dark suit and white shirt with a tie lies in a transparent coffin on a pedestal.
After that Kim, along with his youngest son, Kim Jong Un and military officers, and government and party leaders watched an army march-past in the central square in Pyongyang. Hundreds of thousands of troops and protesters chanted enthusiastically, "Long live Kim Jong Il!" and welcomed their leader, waving pink plastic flowers.
The square was adorned with the state flags of the DPRK and the Workers' Party of Korea, posters and slogans reading "Long live the revolutionary idea of ··Kim Il Sung," and "Be ready to defend the country at the cost of your life".