Originally posted on National Post | News:
PYONGYANG, North Korea — As the world watches to see what North Korea’s next move will be in a high-stakes game of brinksmanship with the United States, residents of its capital aren’t hunkering down in bunkers and preparing for the worst. Instead, they are out on the streets en masse getting ready for the birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung — the biggest holiday of the year.
The festivities leading up to Kim’s birthday come amid fears that North Korea may be planning to test launch a new missile in retaliation for what it claims are provocative war games by U.S. and South Korean troops just across the Korean border.
In Pyongyang on Friday, thousands of schoolchildren were amassed at Kim Il Sung Stadium for the induction of second-graders from around the country into the Korean Children’s Union, one of the first steps into North Korea’s political structure. They pledged to study hard and to build up strength to defend their nation. Retired military officers helped them tie on red scarves to complete the ritual.