9/9/11 (AEIN) North Korea celebrated its sixty-third Independence Day on Friday. The northeast Asian country held a military parade in the central square of its capitol Pyongyang, according to VOA. It also organized various other celebrations and events to mark the day, including a national meeting at the Pyongyang Indoor Stadium.
Leader Kim Jong-il and his son Kim Jong-un viewed the parade, which was broadcast nationally on television. Other high-ranking officials were also present at the event. China's official Xinhua news agency reported that the North Korean Premier Choe Yong Rim delivered a speech on various economic and military issues during the national meeting at the stadium in Pyongyang.
In days leading up to the independence anniversary, North Korean media reported that Chairman Kim Jong-il had received gifts from the leaders of Laos and Palestine, as well as a Vietnamese union and the Great King of Cambodia. A reception was held in Beijing on Tuesday to mark the holiday, according to Xinhua. The North Korean ambassador and the President of the China-DPRK Friendship Association attended.
The North, also known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, became independent from Japan in 1948. The mountainous country is almost as large as the U.S. state of Mississippi and has a population of approximately 22 million. Neighboring South Korea celebrated its independence a few weeks ago, on August 15th.