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N.K. leader visits cemetery for war heads on armistice anniversary

2017/07/28 09:31

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SEOUL, July 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's state media said Friday that leader Kim Jong-un visited a cemetery to commemorate veterans killed during the 1950-53 Korean War on the armistice anniversary earlier this week.

Kim paid homage to fallen fighters of its military Thursday to mark the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement that ended the three-year war, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The armistice anniversary passed without any provocative act despite speculation that the country may be preparing to launch another missile around Thursday following its test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4.

Kim resumed his public appearances after 15 days by visiting the cemetery in Pyongyang, raising speculation that the repressive regime may delay its missile launch.

The armistice was signed on July 27, 1953, leaving South and North Korea technically in a state of war. The North has designated the date as Victory Day to celebrate what it claims is its victory against the United States during the war.

The North has claimed that it is developing nuclear weapons as a deterrent to what it called Washington's hostile policy toward it.

The repressive regime's possible provocation could deal a blow to President Moon Jae-in's push for engagement with the North at a time when the U.S. is trying to tighten sanctions on Pyongyang.

Seoul had offered to hold inter-military talks Thursday to ease border tensions, and has proposed Red Cross talks on Tuesday to resume reunions of families torn apart by the war. But the North has kept mum toward the South's overture.

A combination of photos carried by North Korea's main newspaper Rodong Sinmun on July 28, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery a day earlier to mark the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) A combination of photos carried by North Korea's main newspaper Rodong Sinmun on July 28, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visiting the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery a day earlier to mark the 64th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement that ended the 1950-53 Korean War. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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