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(LEAD) Signs detected of N. Korea staging military parade in Pyongyang late Sunday: JCS

All News 10:21 January 11, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS more details in last 4 paras, photos)

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's military said Monday that it has detected signs indicating that North Korea carried out a military parade in time for a ruling party congress in Pyongyang late Sunday.

The North has been holding the eighth congress of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang since Tuesday, and the possibility has been raised that it could stage a military parade on the occasion.

"Our military detected signs that North Korea held a military parade related to the party congress at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang late at night yesterday," the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said in a release.

"South Korea and U.S. military authorities are closely following them, including possibilities that the activity could be a rehearsal," it added.

The types of weapons involved were not immediately known.

The communist country last held such a parade on Oct. 10 last year to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party and unveiled a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), along with diverse military assets.

The October event took place in the wee hours, and Pyongyang broadcast the recorded footage the following day.

A source in Seoul said the latest one appears to have been held in a scaled-back manner due to various circumstances, such as the COVID-19 situation, a cold wave, and its military's ongoing regular wintertime drills.

North Korean troops gather at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on Oct. 10, 2020, during a military parade to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, in this photo captured from Korean Central Television footage. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)
This image, captured from Korean Central Television footage on Oct. 10, 2020, shows North Korea's new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which was displayed during a military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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