North Korea celebrates Kim Il-sung birthday
North Korea has marked the birthday of its founder Kim Il-sung - the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un - with no signs of the escalating crisis with the South easing after it rejected talks aimed calming tensions and re-opening the Kaesong joint industrial zone.

The defiant North has threatened to attack the United States, South Korea and Japan for weeks, after new UN sanctions were imposed in response to its nuclear arms test in February.

South Korea's Defence Ministry said it remained on guard against a possible new missile launch to coincide with the Day of the Sun, the date state founder Kim Il-Sung was born.

Kim Jong-un marked the occasion by visiting his grandfather's mausoleum, which also holds the body of his father Kim Jong-il, in the capital, Pyongyang.

At this time last year, the North launched a rocket – to international condemnation - with the aim of putting a satellite into orbit to mark the 100th anniversary of Kim Il-sung's birth. The rocket broke up shortly after take-off.

This would have been Kim Il-sung's 101st birthday.

He was born on the same day the Titanic sank.

The North had previously told foreign diplomats in Pyongyang they had until April 10 to consider evacuation.


Image: © Getty

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