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North Korea holds military parade for anniversary of ruling party

Written by on 10/10/2020

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has spoken at a rare early morning military parade on Saturday, marking the 75th anniversary of the founding of the country’s ruling Worker’s Party.

The event took place before dawn in the secretive country, and was watched closely in the region.

North Korea apparently used the parade to display a new intercontinental ballistic missile, after analysts were concerned the country could reveal new weaponry.

People bow before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Mansu hill as the country marks the 75th founding anniversary of the Workers' Party of Korea, in Pyongyang on October 10, 2020. (Photo by KIM Won Jin / AFP) (Photo by KIM WON JIN/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: People bow before the statues of late North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il at Mansu hill

North Korea’s state media later broadcasted the parade, despite previous secrecy around it.

Speaking at the event, Kim Jong Un told North Koreans the country would overcome the COVID-19 crisis, and that the people of North and South Korea will join hands again.

Mr Kim added that nobody in the country contracted the disease – but this has been refuted repeatedly by South Korea and the US.

He also thanked the military for helping the country recover after a series of storms over the summer and hoped the parade would show North Korea’s military power – but that it was not taking aim at any country in particular.

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North Korea held an early morning military parade on Saturday. File pic
Image: North Korea held an early morning military parade on Saturday. File pic

As well as the parade, the anniversary is celebrated with concerts and festivals over several days.

The joint chiefs of staff in South Korea had earlier said it noticed signs that North Korea was holding a military parade in its capital Pyongyang but initially gave no more details.

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They said: “There was a sign that North Korea conducted a military parade this morning at Kim Il Sung Square, mobilising large scale equipment and personnel.

“South Korea and US intelligence authorities are closely monitoring developments, including for the possibility that it was the main event.”

During the week, officials in South Korea said that Mr Kim could have used the anniversary as a “low intensity” show of power, ahead of the US election.

Satellite imagery had shown thousands of soldiers in North Korea practicing their marching, sparking the concerns that the country could be about to unveil a new intercontinental missile.

Foreign ambassadors in Pyongyang are usually invited to the celebrations, but the Russian Embassy said on social media that it had been advised not to travel in the city and refrain from taking photos and videos at the venue.

 Sky News

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