(FreedomBeacon.com)- In Pyongyang, young people dressed in face masks and danced to honor the tenth anniversary of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s rise to power. Kim’s week of festivities began on April 10, 2022, with a national gathering. The country’s leader was presented with a new official portrait, and top party leaders praised him for expanding the country’s nuclear program.
Thousands marched in a choreographed demonstration of fealty to the Kim family. Young people conducted a mass dance in the square hours before the march while fireworks thrown from a nearby riverbank lit up the night sky.
According to the reports, Kim gave no speech or made no comments at the ceremony on Friday, and the country spent its most significant holiday without displaying its military weapons, despite rising tensions over its nuclear program.
In recent weeks, commercial satellite images have revealed preparations for a large military parade in Pyongyang, which could take place on the 25th anniversary of North Korea’s army’s founding and feature the most advanced weapons in Kim’s nuclear arsenal.
Pyongyang is also expected to ramp up its weapons testing in the coming weeks or months, possibly including nuclear tests or test-flying missiles over Japan, to compel a response from the Biden administration, which is preoccupied with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a rivalry with China.
Vast columns of people holding red plastic flowers and floats with political messages marched below Kim, waving from a balcony looking over Kim Il Sung Square, which is named after his grandfather.
In a speech, Ri Il Hwan, a member of the governing Workers’ Party Politburo, called for devotion, stating that North Koreans will “always emerge triumphantly under Kim’s leadership.”
State media made no remarks about the United States or South Korea.
In North Korea, where the Kim dynasty has ruled under a strong personality cult since the country’s creation in 1948, Kim Il Sung’s birthday is the most significant national festival.
The 110th anniversary of his birth was celebrated this week as his grandson revived nuclear brinkmanship to persuade the US to acknowledge North Korea as a nuclear state and lift severe economic sanctions.
North Korea has kicked out the year 2022 with a flurry of missile tests, including its first ICBM flight test since 2017. The South Korean military has also discovered that North Korea is reopening tunnels at a nuclear test site. It partially decommissioned weeks before Kim’s first meeting with then-US President Donald Trump in June 2018.
Experts believe Kim Jong Un’s bold shows of military strength are also likely motivated by domestic politics. After a decade in power, he lacks meaningful achievements to brag about to his people.
After his second summit with Trump in 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korea’s demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a limited surrender of its nuclear capabilities, his stated goals of simultaneously developing nuclear weapons and bringing economic prosperity to his impoverished people were derailed. The COVID-19 outbreak wreaked even more havoc on his already-shattered economy, compelling Kim to admit last year that the North was in its “worst-ever condition.”
Sung Kim, the United States’ senior North Korean official, is expected to visit South Korea next week to discuss the international community’s reaction to the North’s latest missile launches.
North Korea has recently resumed its usual venomous rhetoric toward its adversaries. One of its international affairs analysts referred to US President Joe Biden as “an elderly man in senility.”
Kim Yo Jong, Kim’s influential sister, referred to South Korea’s defense minister as a scum-like guy and threatened to nuke the country.