N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country’s founder

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Amid rising regional tensions, North Korea is preparing for its most important holiday: the 105th birth anniversary of the country’s late founder and the grandfather of its current ruler.

Saturday’s holiday, known as the Day of the Sun, normally includes an immense military parade and synchronized public performances, sometimes involving tens of thousands of people. Pyongyang residents have been seen practicing.

Tensions have spiked amid fears in the West that North Korea is preparing for another round of nuclear or missile tests. There’s also anger in Pyongyang over the annual spring military exercises that the U.S. holds with South Korea. And the U.S. has dispatched an aircraft carrier into waters off the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang has warned of a nuclear attack in retaliation for any signs of U.S. aggression.