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S. Korea closely monitoring N.K. moves ahead of late leader's birthday: JCS

All News 11:06 February 15, 2021

SEOUL, Feb. 15 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is closely monitoring North Korea's military moves ahead of the birthday of late leader Kim Jong-il, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said Monday.

Tuesday marks the birthday of the late leader, who is the father of current leader Kim Jong-un. The day, called the Day of the Shining Star, is one of the North's biggest national holidays, and Pyongyang has held commemorative events.

"We are closely monitoring related movements, and there are no unusual things to be noted for further explanation as of now," JCS spokesperson Col. Kim Jun-rak told a regular briefing.

North Korea has been conducting regular wintertime military drills since December, which is expected to continue through March, and no unusual moves have been detected, he added.

North Koreans pay tribute in front of statues of North Korea's late founder, Kim Il-sung (L), and his late son and successor, Kim Jong-il, at Mansudae Hill in Pyongyang on Feb. 16, 2020, on the occasion of the latter's 78th birthday, in this photo provided by the Korean Central News Agency. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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