North Korea marks sixth anniversary of Kim Jong-Il's death

Dennis Rodman arrives at Beijing Capital International Airport on his way back home after a five-day visit to North Korea

CPI (M) in Kerala courted another controversy after erecting the flex boards of supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, in connection with party's area committee meeting.

Kim Jong-Il is believed to have died following a heart attack on 17 December, 2011. In the past, Pyongyang has marked such commemorations with rocket tests and military drills. According to reports, senior government officials visited the mausoleum where the remains of Kim Il Sung are interred.

Kim Jong-un has been aggressively pushing his country's nuclear programme with a number of inter-continental ballistic missile tests recently.

CSIS notes that winter months generally signify a downturn in missile tests, according to data gathered between 1984 and 2017, meaning that provocations are expected to increase in the spring and summer months of 2018.

Bearing flowers, thousands of somber-faced North Koreans were photographed bowing in front of statues and portraits of their leaders in freezing weather.

Kim Jong-un said on Tuesday the scientists and workers would continue manufacturing "more latest weapons and equipment" to "bolster up the nuclear force in quality and quantity", the North's central news agency reported on Wednesday.

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"North Korea is a time bomb".

Kim personally awarded medals to "those in the field of defense science who most faithfully and perfectly carried out the Party's plan for building strategic nuclear force, successfully test-fired ICBM Hwasong-15 and thus demonstrated the dignity and might of our powerful state all over the world once again", KCNA said without naming the recipients.

Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder, and former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il both died on December 17. Wreaths of flowers were laid at the foot of two imposing bronze statues of Kim Jong-il and his father, Kim Il-sung, in Pyongyang, as reported by the Washington Post.

The commemoration came amid heightened tensions with the US over concerns about North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

Last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States could be open to peace talks with North Korea without preconditions.

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