North Korea is planning a huge parade to mark Kim Il-sung's birthday – and there are fears they may be planning something more serious, like an intercontinental ballistic missile launch or a nuclear test. Saturday (15 April) is the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founding father and grandfather of the current ruler. North Korea often marks important anniversaries with tests of its nuclear or missile capabilities.

North Korea has invited foreign media to cover the celebrations. Photographs show residents thronging the wide boulevards of Pyongyang, some rehearsing for the parade, others going about the daily lives. Some of them spoke to journalists, giving no sign of the tensions engulfing the region. However, journalists' movements are closely managed and conversations with the people are monitored. IBTimes UK shares photos of daily life in Pyongyang.

North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: Members of a dance troupe perform in a public square in Pyongyang ahead of a parade for Kim Il-sung's birthdayEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: People practice for the expected parade on Kim Il-sung Square in central PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: People rehearse for the expected parade on Kim Il-sung square in PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: Women wearing traditional clothes prepare for a rally to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sungDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
10 April 2017: A conductor looks out from a subway car in a metro station in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
10 April 2017: Commuters exit an underground rail station in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: Passengers travel on a bus in a newly-constructed area of PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
A composite photo of commuters waiting bus stops in Pyongyang. Buses are by far the most common means of public transport in the capital of around three million people, where access to private cars is rare. Tickets cost five won each (less than 0.1 US cents at free-market rates, making journeys virtually free)Ed Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
9 April 2017: A woman walks beneath blossoms on a street in PyongyangEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: A man wears a badge with pictures of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: A man walks along a street decorated with flags as North Korea prepares to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sungDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
11 April 2017: A policewoman controls the traffic as people gather near Kim Il-sung square in PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
9 April 2017: Students take part in a mass dance event in Pyongyang to mark the anniversary of the election of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's election to the National Defence Committee in 1993Ed Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
12 April 2017: Labourers sweep the street in front of statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il in PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters
North Korea daily life
11 April 2017: Labourers travel on the back of a truck in PyongyangDamir Sagolj/Reuters

More than 1,100 foreign fun-runners took to the streets of Pyongyang on Sunday (8 April) for an annual marathon that has become one of the North Korean capital's most popular tourist events. The race became an instant hit with tourists looking to run in possibly the world's most exotic locale when it was opened up to amateur foreign runners in 2014.

The course took them past such Pyongyang landmarks as Kim Il Sung Square and the recently completed Scientists' Street high-rise district. Curious Pyongyang residents lined the streets to look at the colourfully clad foreign runners. North Koreans won the men's and women's marathon golds. Meanwhile, Saturday (7 April) saw the two Koreas face off in a rare women's football match, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

North Korea daily life
9 April 2017: Competitors line up for the start of the Pyongyang Marathon at Kim Il-Sung stadiumEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
9 April 2017: A foreign competitor runs past spectators during the Pyongyang MarathonEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
9 April 2017: A woman watches from a window as competitors run along Mirae Scientists Street during the Pyongyang MarathonEd Jones/AFP
North Korea daily life
7 April 2017: North Korea fans wave flags as they support their team during their AFC Women's 2018 Asian Cup Group B qualifying football match against South Korea at the Kim Il-Sung stadium in PyongyangKim Won-Jin/AFP
North Korea daily life
7 April 2017: Ri Kyong-Hyang of North Korea fights for the ball with Shin Damyeong of South Korea during their AFC Women's 2018 Asian Cup Group B qualifying match. South Korea's flag flew and its anthem sounded in Pyongyang as its women's football team played out a 1-1 draw with their neighbours, in the first ever competitive match between the two countries hosted by the NorthKim Won-Jin/AFP

The Trump administration deployed an aircraft carrier to the region this week in a show of force that also could expose US weakness. The USS Carl Vinson is steaming to waters off the Korean Peninsula as anticipation mounts that Kim Jong-un will stage another weapons test. The 25th of April is another potential date, during the annual celebration of its armed forces. If the North proceeds with a ballistic missile or nuclear test and the US does nothing in response, America's deterrence will appear diminished.