South Korea expects North Korea’s ceremonial events to mark the upcoming birthday of its former leader Kim Jong-il will be maintained at the levels seen in previous years.  

The Unification Ministry Spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said in a regular media briefing on Wednesday that Friday’s “Kwangmyongsong(Shining Star) Day,” as the North calls the birthday of the father of incumbent North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, will likely be celebrated as usual. 

He expected the North to hold such customary events as a visit by the current North Korean leadership to the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang, the resting place for him, on Friday, while a mass rally and a military ceremony will be held a day earlier. 

Kim’s birthday this year coincides with the Lunar New Year's Day, which both Koreas are observing.