Pyongyang Postcards: North Korea Prepares for Holiday as Tensions Escalate

North Korea is preparing to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of the state founder Kim Il Sung on Saturday.

A man mows grass under portraits of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung, left, and his son, Kim Jong Il, as people rehearse for an upcoming parade in Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang on April 12.

North Korea has invited foreign media to cover celebrations this week of the 105th birth anniversary on April 15 of founding president Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Damir Sagolj / Reuters

Girls wearing traditional dresses hug each other while waiting for their friends in front of Kim Il Sung Square on April 12.

Tensions on the Korean peninsula mounted this week as the White House said President Donald Trump has put North Korea "clearly on notice" over the possibility of a new weapons test. 

North Korea remains technically at war with the United States and its ally South Korea after the 1950-1953 Korean conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Wong Maye-E / AP
Workers sweep in front of statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang on April 12. How Hwee Young / EPA
Commuters wait at a bus stop in Pyongyang on April 7. Access to private cars is rare in the capital of around three million people. Ed Jones / AFP - Getty Images
A student swings on a bar at a school in Pyongyang on April 12. How Hwee Young / EPA
A troupe performs in a public square in Pyongyang on April 12. Ed Jones / AFP - Getty Images
Workers stand on a building under construction as the sun sets in Pyongyang on April 12. Damir Sagolj / Reuters
Pedestrians and cyclists cross a square on April 12. Damir Sagolj / Reuters
Commuters wait at a bus stop on April 7. Ed Jones / AFP - Getty Images
Residents walk outside apartment buildings on April 12. How Hwee Young / EPA
A conductor looks out from a subway car in a metro station on April 10. Ed Jones / AFP - Getty Images
The Ryugyong Hotel looms over Pyongyang on April 12. The hotel has been under construction for decades and has never been open for guests. How Hwee Young / EPA
North Korean students participate in a mass dance event on April 9 to mark late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's election in 1993 as chairman of the National Defense Committee. Mass dances are usually held to mark important dates and national holidays in the North Korean capital. Wong Maye-E / AP
Competitors in the Pyongyang Marathon run past spectators on April 9. Hundreds of foreigners lined up in Kim Il Sung Stadium ahead of the Pyongyang Marathon, the highlight of the isolated country's annual tourism calendar. Ed Jones / AFP - Getty Images
North Koreans cheer after their women's soccer team scored their first goal against South Korea in a qualifying match for the Asian Football Confederation Cup at the Kim Il Sung Stadium on April 7. Wong Maye-E / AP

Cyclists ride on a street in Pyongyang on April 3.

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