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(LEAD) N.K. unlikely to hold military parade marking military foundation anniversary: official

North Korea 13:48 February 07, 2019

(ATTN: Minor edits in penultimate para)

SEOUL, Feb. 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is unlikely to hold a military parade celebrating this week's founding anniversary of its armed forces, a unification ministry official said Thursday.

North Korea designated Feb. 8 as its armed forces' day last year and celebrated its 70th founding anniversary with a military parade in Pyongyang.

The North has used military parades on important national days to flex its military muscle by displaying newly developed weapons, including missiles.

Such a parade is unlikely for this year because it's the 71st anniversary, the ministry official said. The North usually holds bigger events to celebrate anniversaries every fifth or 10th year.

"As far as I know, they will be holding related events on a small scale," the official said.

In last year's parade, the North showed off its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of striking the continental U.S.

The North, which celebrated the foundation of the Korean People's Army on Feb. 8 from 1948 until 1977, switched the anniversary to April 25 in 1978, the date when the late founder Kim Il-sung created anti-Japanese guerrilla forces in 1932, before changing back to the original date last year.

In this file photo taken on Feb. 8, 2018, Hwasong-15 missiles on mobile launchers are displayed during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang in this photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency the next day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

scaaet@yna.co.kr
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