Rival nations mark 64th anniversary of start of Korean War that left them bitterly divided


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PYONGYANG, North Korea — North and South Korea on Wednesday marked the 64th anniversary of the war between them that ended in a truce and left the nations bitterly divided.

Thousands of North Koreans took part in a huge rally in Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang. Signs praising North Korea's leaders past and present, and highlighting North Korea's confrontation with America, decorated the square.

The chairman of the Pyongyang City People's Committee spoke from a balcony, his speech punctuated by chants and raised fists from the crowd in the square. Speeches from representatives of workers, farmers, and young people followed his remarks.

In South Korea, U.S. veterans of the war were among people attending a ceremony in Seoul.

North Korea says America started the Korean War. Historians around the world agree the war began when North Korea invaded the South.

The 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula still technically in a state of war. Hundreds of thousands of troops square off along the world's most heavily armed border; periodic skirmishes have taken place on land and at sea and public officials in both Koreas routinely use harsh rhetoric to describe the rival nation.

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