David Guttenfelder, Associated Press
PYONGYANG, North Korea — The flags are up and the streets of North Korea's capital are lined with flowers as the nation prepares to celebrate the biggest holiday of the year: the birthday of late President Kim Il Sung.
April 15 is called "The Day of the Sun" in honor of the man who founded North Korea in 1948 and maintains godlike status in the country now led by his son, Kim Jong Il.
It's a time for North Koreans to relax with friends and family. But it's also an occasion to rally national pride as the country undergoes a sensitive leadership transition and as tensions with the outside world persist.
North Koreans are arriving in droves to lay bouquets at the towering bronze statue of Kim Jong Il in central Pyongyang.
- Pope in blistering critique of Vatican...
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by to watch
- 9 films advance in Oscars shortlist for best...
- The Associated Press' top 10 movies of the year
- 'Hobbit' goes out on top with $90.6 million...
- 2 cops in New York City ambushed, fatally...
- 10 years on, where did all the tsunami debris...
- Killings of 2 New York officers trigger backlash
- Obama: US re-establishing diplomatic... 49
- Vermont governor abandons single-payer... 33
- Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there... 18
- Police boss: NYC cops 'quite simply,... 17
- A post-election flurry: Obama tests his... 16
- Sony cancels 'The Interview' Dec. 25... 15
- NYPD: Cop ambush killer told passers-by... 13
- NYC premiere of Rogen film 'The... 8