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Korean Army Day marked in DPRK amid rising tensions in region

April 25, 2014, 8:54 UTC+3 PYONGYANG
"A tense situation on the Korean Peninsula is caused by the reckless actions of American imperialists and puppet forces," Chief of the KPA General Staff General Li Yong Gil says
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA/KCNA

PYONGYANG, April 25. /ITAR-TASS/. A national holiday, the Korean People's Army Day, is being marked in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday by ceremonial meetings, rallies, concerts and sports events.

There will be no big military parade this year. Pyongyang residents traditionally lay flowers at the huge statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, installed on the Mansu Hill in the downtown area.

A mas pilgrimage began on Friday morning to miltiary cemeteries, including those where the servicemen who died in the battles of the Korean War of 1950-53 are buried. The military attaches of Russia, China, Vietnam, Cuba, Iran, and Egypt, accredited in Pyongyang, have honored the memory of the dead.

General of the Army Li Yong Gil, Chief of the KPA General Staff, when speaking at a ceremonial meeting at the capital's Palace of Culture, pointed out, "A tense situation on the Korean Peninsula is caused by the reckless actions of American imperialists and puppet forces". He warned that in the event of US invasion into the inviolable territory of the DPRK, "the DPRK Army and people will relentlessly sweep the aggressors from the face of the Earth and secure a reunification of the native land".

The life of the KPA servicemen remains in the limelight of television and radio channels, newspapers and magazines in accordance with the "songun" military policy being pursued by the leadership of the DPRK and which implies the priority of the army in all affairs.

Local media maintain that the Korean army, brought into being by Kim Il Sung in 1932 during the anti-Japanese struggle, "has by now developed into invincible armed forces". The main slogans that are familiar to everyone are "The People and the army are united" and "Let us turn the country into an impenetrable fortress".

KPA soldiers and officers vow to defend resolutely the leadership of the Workers Party of Korea, headed by Kim Jong Un and "give a firm rebuff to the enemies of the Socialist Motherland".

On the eve of the holiday, DPRK leader supervised test-firings of rockets in Military Unit 851 of the KPA. The exercises also involved women's crews of multi-target rocket launchers.

Upon referring to the test-firings as successful, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the First Chairman of the State Committee for Defense praised the Unit gunners who succeeded in hitting all the designated targets accurately. As an encouragement, he had his photo picture taken together with the women gunners.

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