‘Kimjongilia’ hybrid flowers and foul-tasting sweets: How North Korea is celebrating its Dear Leader

Workers and soldiers across North Korea are putting the finishing touches to preparations for this year’s “Day of the Shining Star,” which falls  on Friday.

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February 16  marks the anniversary of the birth of Kim Jong-il, the former dictator, who died in December 2011. His birthday is so named because, according to official reports, a star appeared in the night sky at the precise time Mr Kim was born in a rough shack on the flanks of Mount Paektu that was used by guerrillas fighting the occupying Japanese.

Historians concur, however, that Mr Kim was actually born in a refugee camp in eastern Russia in 1941.

Keeping the faith

Mr Kim’s son and successor, Kim Jong-un, has ensured the date remains…

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