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North Korea marks Kim Jong Il's birthday

This undated picture, released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 19, 2009, shows Kim Jong-il inspecting the Kimchaek Iron and Steel Complex at Kimchaek city in North Hamgyong province.
This undated picture, released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 19, 2009, shows Kim Jong-il inspecting the Kimchaek Iron and Steel Complex at Kimchaek city in North Hamgyong province.
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(CNN) -- North Korea celebrated the 68th birthday of Kim Jong Il on Tuesday with performances and festivals lauding the "Dear Leader," the country's state news agency reported.

Marked on the national calendar as a public holiday, "celebrations" included song and dance performances, and an ice sculpture festival, while senior party officials attended the screening of a documentary on Kim's "immortal exploits," North Korea's official KCNA news agency reported.

As a tradition on the occasion, on Saturday the regime gave children around the nation presents.

North Korea received rare animals as gifts for Kim from state and party leaders and other prominent figures of countries and overseas Koreans, KCNA reported.

 
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