Kim Jong Il

N. Korea watchers on why army's big day has taken a backseat

The North Korean capital's broad, clean avenues were, by the authoritarian nation's usually over-the-top celebratory standards, fairly subdued ahead of Tuesday's 85th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army.

For years, the army celebration rivaled the April 15th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's late founder, Kim Il Sung, in its pageantry. Army Day festivities saw immense displays of weaponry and military might, and thousands of people on the streets of Pyongyang in orchestrated shows of unity.

But since the rise of Kim Jong Un, the third generation of the Kim family to rule the country, the April 25 army commemoration has taken a backseat to Kim Il...

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