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N. Korean youth vow to pursue economic growth in massive torchlight march

All Headlines 17:30 September 11, 2018

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- Young North Koreans staged a torchlight procession in Pyongyang on Monday night to celebrate the North's 70th birthday, displaying words like "economic construction," the North's media reported Tuesday.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the torchlight procession of the young people for celebrating the 70th anniversary was held at Kim Il Sung Square under the slogan of "Youth, forward, demonstrating valiant mettle of heroic Korea!"

An image captured from the Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station shows North Korean youth displaying the words "economic construction" and "great victory" during a torchlight procession in Pyongyang on Sept. 10, 2018. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The North's titular head of state Kim Yong-nam; Salvador Antonio Valdes Mesa, first vice-president of Cuba's Council of State; Helal Al-Helal, deputy regional secretary of the Baath Arab Socialist Party; and other foreign guests who were in Pyongyang to attend various anniversary events watched the procession from an observation platform, the agency said.

"When the start of the torchlight procession was declared, letters reading 'September 9' and 'Celebrations 70' in celebration of the anniversary were displayed on the ground amid the playing of (the) song 'The Glorious Country,'" the KCNA said in an English dispatch.

The young marchers also displayed words like "economic construction" and "grand marchㆍscience technologyㆍself-reliance," it noted.

But while they showed words like "scienceㆍeducation," they didn't display any words or symbols associated with nuclear power.

The Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station aired the video footage of the torchlight march for about 50 minutes Tuesday afternoon.

This photo released by the KCNA on Sept. 11, 2018, shows young North Koreans marching in Pyongyang on Sept. 10 during a torchlight procession. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), also covered the event, saying that energetic young people exhibited a determination to carry on the nation's output growth campaign and accomplish its five-year economic development strategy.

North Korea has held large-scale street torchlight marches by young people on the occasion of important national anniversaries, like the founding anniversary of the ruling party.

According to the KCNA report, open limousines carrying the portraits of the North's founder Kim Il-sung and his son Kim Jong-il moved past the square, escorted by the young people with torches in their hands.

This photo released by the KCNA on Sept. 11, 2018, shows a torchlight procession by young North Koreans underway in Pyongyang on Sept. 10. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Youth and students made large-size words with torchlights reading "Kim Il-sung's Nation" and "Kim Jong-il's Korea" and depicted the sun, the report noted.

They also depicted the emblem of the WPK, the national flag and messages reading "Kim Jong-un's era," "supreme leader" and "banner of victory" with torchlights, it said, adding that celebratory fireworks went off at the end of the torchlight procession.


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