Kim Jong-il Birthday Celebration; North Korea’s Dear Leader Turns 69 (VIDEO)

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Feb. 16 2011 3:01 PM

Kim Jong-il Birthday Celebration; North Korea’s Dear Leader Turns 69 (VIDEO)


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Happy Birthday, Dear Leader! North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il is turning 69, and he's pulling out all the stops.

In a lavish display that would put MTV's My Super Sweet 16 to shame, Kim is expecting a couple of $50,000 Steinway grand pianos, a handful of Mercedes Benzes, and a $16 million yacht.

Known in Pyongyang as "Kimjongilia," the birthday festival rivals Christmas, and deserving North Koreans can expect extra food rations as well as presents like Rolexes, Armani suits, and Gucci handbags from Kim himself.

This year, however, trade sanctions are reportedly forcing party officials to buy cheap knockoffs. Which is better than nothing, in a nation of 23 million who are suffering through chronic food shortages and one of the harshest winters in 60 years.

Videos curated by Slate staff.