Kim Jong-un was quoted as pledging his commitment to “fight more unflinchingly” to make the rogue state “independent in politics, self-supporting in the economy and self-reliant in defence”.
His son visits his grave every year to mark his passing, while thousands of North Koreans morn his death in choreographed tributes that have been captured on video.
They said there was an “elevated chance of provocations” this month, with a “ballistic missile test expected” to take place to honour the ex-leader’s death.
The eerie footage shows a mass of North Koreans taking turns to run up to statues of Kim Jong-il and laying flowers at his feet.
The anniversary is described as the country’s “greatest national mourning day”.
His pledge for “self-reliance in defence” on the anniversary of Kim Jong-Il’s death raised concerns that the communist state may be about to launch another missile.
The group said North Korea has favoured “high missile test activity” in December over the past five years, increasing fears of a strike.
Fresh concerns about the North’s capability were raised in November after an announcement that the dictatorship now had the ability to hit the US mainland.
Tensions between Trump and the North Korean leader have risen over recent months as the pair trade insults in a war of words.
Addressing South Korea’s National Assembly in November Trump insisted that the US would “not be intimidated” by Kim Jong-un’s rhetoric and called for other countries to respond to the “twisted regimes” threats with a sign of military force.
He also warned the “three largest aircraft carriers in the world are appropriately positioned” to face Pyongyang.
Prior to his intervention in South Korea, Trump had previously suggested he was ready to use the US military to attack the rogue country.