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N. Korea likely to stage military parade as expected; preparations at final stage: officials

All News 11:46 October 09, 2020

SEOUL, Oct. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is likely to hold a military parade this weekend as expected to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party, military officials in Seoul said Friday.

The parade for the Oct. 10 anniversary has drawn keen attention, as the communist country could unveil new strategic weapons, such as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), that leader Kim Jong-un pledged to show off in his New Year's message.

"Preparations for the parade are at the final stage, and North Korea is likely to go ahead with it as widely expected," a military official said.

During a parliamentary audit earlier this week, Seoul's Defense Minister Suh Wook said that the North is expected to mobilize strategic weapons in a show of force, and the unification ministry noted that the possible display of newly developed weapons would aim at strengthening internal unity amid economic difficulties.

North Korea tends to mark every fifth or 10th anniversary with larger-scale events, such as missile launches and parades of troops and advanced military hardware.

Chances for the North to test-launch such strategic weapons this time remain low, but the authorities are closely monitoring related movements in close coordination with the United States, the Seoul official added.

Last month, North Korea built a structure on an uninhabited island in the East Sea, which is presumed to be used as a target for its test-firing of missiles, according to Rep. Yoon Ju-keyng of the main opposition People Power Party.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Won In-choul said Thursday that the military "bears in mind diverse possibilities" regarding those activities, vowing a staunch readiness posture.

Hwasong-15 missiles on mobile launchers are displayed during a military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Feb. 8, 2018, 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)


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