North Korea expected to hold military parade for 75th anniversary
North Korea is expected to hold a massive military parade — and potentially show off new missiles — to commemorate the nation’s 75th anniversary this weekend.
Leader Kim Jong Un is mobilizing 32,000 troops for the ceremony along with hundreds of students and researchers for the ostentatious display on Oct. 10, the BBC reported.
Experts speculate that Kim could roll out new Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) or Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs) to boost morale in a country gripped by an economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic and US-led sanctions.
“His people are considerably wearied and his economy is in trouble…so Kim Jong Un would want to mobilize his people and stress a self-reliant policy to quell their complaints and draw their loyalty,” Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea, told The Associated Press. “To do so, he would need new weapons, powerful weapons that would send a message to the entire world.”
Thousands of troops were seen on satellite images assembling in formation during an apparent parade rehearsal on an airfield outside Pyongyang — the typical practice site for the military parades the country holds every five years.
The anniversary comes as nuclear talks between North Korea and the US have deadlocked. Trump has met with Kim three times since becoming president, but talks between the two leaders have stalled as the countries dispute over sanctions.
The virus brought added economic strain when China closed its borders, cutting off trade with the country.
Lee Sang Yong, the editor-in-chief of the Seoul-based Daily NK news site, told the BBC that the pandemic has forced incredibly strict lockdowns in the north while some residents are left “dying and starving.”
“Land, sea, and air. It’s a complete shutdown of both people and material,” Lee said. “Unless you are military personnel or a high-ranking officer, no one is moving inside of North Korea. Quarantine measures against COVID-19 are so tight.”
With Post wires
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