AP PHOTOS: Flower show celebrates N. Korea founder

Apr 18, 2012, 1:44 PM

Associated Press

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – North Korea’s failed rocket has reappeared in a new form _ at an annual flower show that combines floral extravaganza with high praise for the country’s founding father Kim Il Sung.

To mark what would have been Kim’s 100th birthday, thousands came to central Pyongyang to view elaborate displays, mostly of the violet orchid Kimilsungia named in his honor and the red begonia Kimjongilia named for his son and successor, Kim Jong Il.

The Kimilsungia, named after Kim by the late Indonesian dictator Sukarno, has become an integral part of the ever-present state-sponsored propaganda that surrounds the late leader. The Kim family’s hold over the country has continued with Kim Il Sung’s grandson, the young Kim Jong Un, taking over after his father’s death in December. No flower has been named after him, but an ode “Footsteps” in his praise was played at the exhibition.

Pictures of the late leaders’ smiling faces towered over some 30,000 potted plants. So did a floral mock-up of the Unha-3 rocket that broke up over the Yellow Sea in a controversial launch Friday.

Kim’s birthday on Sunday was the biggest celebration of the year for North Koreans, who received three days off for it.

Many came to Pyongyang’s Kimilsungia-Kimjongilia Exhibition House in their best clothes on a warm spring day to have family portraits taken. One teenager stood primly next to the rocket as her father snapped her photo with his cell phone.

The exhibit of flowers cultivated by the State Academy of Sciences also trumpeted the latest achievements North Korea’s government is seeking to promote.

A display sponsored by Pyongyang’s urban planners includes miniature flower models of the new apartment towers built in front of the hill where the Kims’ bronze statues lord over the city. Another cultivated by a firm that is providing most of the cement for the construction shows off a signed note from Kim Jong Un.

The largest display is a huge blanket of flowers depicting a unified Korea.

The exhibition hall was packed Tuesday with parents toting toddlers clad in traditional Korean outfits, mini military uniforms and tweed suits and armed with digital cameras and camcorders.

Groups of soldiers posed together for photos in front of the display sponsored by a unit of the Korean People’s Army, while students still in their school uniforms snapped photos of one another as “Footsteps” blared in the background.

Outside, vendors were selling everything from hot dogs on sticks to strawberry-flavored ice cream sandwiches, as well as Minnie Mouse backpacks, and pots, planters and watering cans.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
22 days ago
(Instagram photo/@Clayton.Wolfe)...
Wills Rice

Arizona realtor announces new listing on ‘the top-floor’ of Mount Everest

Arizona realtor Clayton Wolfe scaled the treacherous 29,035-foot heights of Mount Everest in Nepal and announced a new listing at the summit.
23 days ago
(Photo by: Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

‘Tiger King’ star ‘Doc’ Antle arrested for money laundering charges

“Tiger King” star “Doc” Antle was arrested by the FBI and expected to appear in court Monday to face federal money laundering charges.
23 days ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in Israel for talks with political and business leaders

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is in Israel for five days of talks with political and business leaders of the Middle Eastern country.
29 days ago
A man rides a bicycle in front of a building ruined by shelling in Borodyanka, on the outskirts of ...
Associated Press

Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order Wednesday to fast track Russian citizenship for residents of parts of southern Ukraine largely held by his forces, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the stretched Russian army. Putin’s decree applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions could allow Russia to […]
1 month ago
FILE - McDonald's restaurant is seen in the center of Dmitrov, a Russian town 75 km., (47 miles) no...
Associated Press

De-Arching: McDonald’s to sell Russia business, exit country

McDonald’s is closing its doors in Russia, ending an era of optimism and increasing the country’s isolation over its war in Ukraine. The Chicago burger giant confirmed Monday that it is selling its 850 restaurants in Russia. McDonald’s said it will seek a buyer who will employ its 62,000 workers in Russia, and will continue […]
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Most plumbing problems can be fixed with regular maintenance

Instead of waiting for a problem to happen, experts suggest getting a head start on your plumbing maintenance.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
AP PHOTOS: Flower show celebrates N. Korea founder