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N. Korean army to mark 80th anniversary

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

North Korea’s People’s Army is to celebrate the 80th anniversary of its foundation on Wednesday.

The nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un, is expected to declare at an anniversary ceremony that he will maintain the military-first policy of his late father.

The younger Kim, who recently assumed the top posts of the ruling party, the state and the military, has proclaimed that he will further develop North Korea’s military might.

The Korean People’s Army Supreme Command warned on Monday that it will soon launch “special actions” against South Korea for what it called blasphemy against the country’s new leadership. It denounced South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and some of the South’s media reports for showing disrespect.

Observers say the North Korean leadership is trying to tighten its grip on power at a time of economic difficulties by heightening tensions with South Korea.

They say North Korea may carry out a third nuclear test to boost national prestige, after it failed to test launch a long-range ballistic missile earlier this month.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012