North Korea Celebrates Dictator Kim Jong-un's Birthday
By Gopi Chandra Kharel | January 8, 2014 6:42 PM EST
The most mysterious and controversial leader of the modern times, Kim Jong-un turns 31 on Wednesday.
As Kim Jong-un gets honored for his birth anniversary in North Korea, faces in the United States and the western world grimace with abject sense of revulsion towards the leader, who has intrigued much of the world with his grotesque government system that has come under rigid international condemnation for series of appalling acts.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) waves as he visits military units
In a latest case, he ordered an execution of his own uncle, Jang Song theak, last month, who Kim accuses of trying to overthrow the government, womanizing, doing drugs and - in one funny instance - 'clapping half-heartedly' for the leader.
Thousands of loyal North Koreas gathered in the capital's main square on Tuesday to hold a mass rally as part of series of activities planned for the leader's birthday on Wednesday, the Telegraph reported.
In a usual display of North-Korean style of paying tribute, supporters carried red flags and banners while chanting slogans in honor of the leader. While that may not be surprising for obvious reasons, there is one good cause why this particular celebration is watched with utmost abhorrence from the western world, particularly the United States.
A good number of American basketball players are present in Pyongyang for a planned exhibition basketball match organized by former NBA star Dennis Rodman. The NBA hall of famer has come under staunch criticism for organizing the petty game to entertain the person who has often been referred as the modern day Hitler.
Rodman in an interview with CNN angrily defended his visit and the game he was organizing. While it could be true that a sportsman would only think of accelerating comradeship through the spirit of goodwill that the game brings in, the fact that Rodman considers Kim Jong-un, a "friend for life" doesn't go down too well with Uncle Sam, especially as there are greater issues of diplomacy to be settled with the reclusive nation.
Washington is especially angry because a US citizen, Kenneth Bae was sentenced to 15 years in a labor camp by North Korea last year on charges that he had intended to topple the government. Additionally, North Korea's underground nuclear test conducted in February last year invited a series of brutal sanctions from the US.
The joint US-South Korean military drill that followed shortly after the event left the reclusive communist regime simmering in angry tantrums. The young leader went to the extent of threatening Washington and Seoul with a nuclear attack and reducing the two cities to a "sea of fire".
So whose birthday is North Korea celebrating? It is a question that irks Washington. The isolated nation celebrates the birth of a dictator, an event that is understood to be a symbolism in the United States, as a celebration of the 'death' of freedom, democracy and human rights.
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