North Korea marks army day amid tensions

2012-04-25 09:04

Seoul - North Korea on Wednesday celebrated its army day amid high tensions with South Korea and speculation that the communist state will soon conduct another nuclear test.

A national meeting marking the 80th anniversary of the military's founding was held in Pyongyang, the official news agency said.

It said national leader Kim Jong-Un, supreme commander of the 1.2 million-member military, attended the meeting but gave no other immediate details.

The North dates the founding of the Korean People's Army to the guerrilla struggle against Japanese forces who occupied the Korean peninsula from 1910 - 1945.

Kim Il-Sung, who in 1948 became founding leader of North Korea, was previously a guerrilla chief.

Kim Jong-Un, grandson of the founder, took over after his own father Kim Jong-Il died last December. His government has struck a consistently hostile note with South Korea.

On Monday the military threatened "special actions" to soon turn parts of the South Korean capital to ashes.

The nuclear-armed North accuses the government of the South's President Lee Myung-Bak of making hostile comments "desecrating" mass celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary this month of Kim Il-Sung's birth.

A Seoul source told AFP this month that the North appears to be preparing for a third nuclear test.