North Korea marks anniversary of anti-Japan group formed by leader's great grandfather

Vivian Kang, March 23, 2017, 10:24 a.m.

North Korea has marked the 100th anniversary of the creation of an anti-Japanese movement group which was set up by the late great grandfather of the country's leader Kim Jong-un, Pyongyang's state media said Thursday.

North Korea held an event on Wednesday to celebrate the founding anniversary of the Korean National Association which was formed by Kim Hyong-jik, the father of the North's founder Kim Il-sung, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

The KNA was formed on March 23, 1917 as a secret association aimed at liberating Korea from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule, the report said, calling Kim an "outstanding leader of the anti-Japanese national liberation movement."

"Under the guidance of Kim Hyong-jik, the KNA dynamically spurred the independent and uniform development of the national liberation movement," the report said.

North Korea's report on highlighting the current leader's great grandfather is widely seen as a move to lend support to the idolization of Kim Jong-un and his legitimacy as royal blood.

In North Korea, descendants of guerrillas who fought against Japanese colonialists are viewed as having privileged backgrounds.

North Korea is seeking to make this year the pinnacle of the personality cult for its leader as his one-man rule has entered its sixth year following the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il in 2011.

The country plans to hold international events in August to praise the accomplishments of the three Kims at Mount Paektu, the highest peak on the Korean Peninsula, and in the capital city.

The KCNA said that the event brought about key senior officials including ceremonial leader Kim Yong-nam and Choe Ryong-hae, a vice chairman of the central committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.

In a separate report, the KNCA said that the country issued a commemorative stamp to mark the anniversary.

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