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The North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il, gathered top military commanders for a rally where he urged them to bolster defenses, the country's official media said amid mounting concern about an imminent nuclear test by the North.
The meeting was the reclusive leader's first reported appearance in three weeks and the first since Tuesday, when his government shocked the world by announcing plans to detonate an atomic weapon.
Media reports have speculated that a test could come as early as Sunday, the anniversary of Kim's appointment as head of the Korean Workers' Party in 1997.(...)

Kim congratulated the battalion commanders and political instructors for "bolstering the Korean People's Army as invincible revolutionary armed forces," the country's official Korean Central News Agency, or KCNA, reported(...)
Kim also urged them to "further strengthen the battalions," (...)
Attendees responded with "stormy cheers of 'hurrah'" and chanted slogans such as "Let's fight at the cost of our lives for the respected supreme commander comrade, Kim Jong Il," "Human bullets and bombs," and "Devoted defense," KCNA said.