Despite Tensions, North Korea Readies For Festivities as presented by: Sacramento Bee

As the world watches to see what North Korea's next move will be in a high-stakes game of brinksmanship with the United States, residents of its capital aren't hunkering down in bunkers and preparing for the worst. Instead, they are out on the streets en masse getting ready for the birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung -- the biggest holiday of the year. The festivities leading up to Kim's birthday come amid fears that North Korea may be planning to test launch a new missile in retaliation for what it claims are provocative war games by U.S. and South Korean troops just across the Korean border. Even at such a seemingly innocuous setting as a flower show in Kim's honor, North Korea's warning that it is prepared to strike back if pushed too far is on prominent display. This year's exhibition of "Kimilsungia" flowers - which North Koreans claim their scientists have bred into the most beautiful orchids in the world - is built around mockups of red-tipped missiles, slogans hailing the military and reminders of the threats that North Koreans feel are all around them.

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