North Korea planning military parade on eve of PyeongChang Olympics

北, '건군절' 2월8일로 변경…평창올림픽 개막 전날


The two Koreas are cooperating on the Olympic effort, but in other areas things go on as usual.
It's been confirmed that North Korea is planning a huge military parade to commemorate the founding of its armed forces.
February 8th, the day before the Olympic Games begin,... will see thousands of troops marching down the streets of Pyongyang alongside artillery and other equipment... plus a speech from Kim Jong-un.
Our Park Hee-jun reports. North Korea has designated February 8th as the official founding day of its military forces.
The North's state-run news agency KCNA reported Tuesday that the regime will celebrate the 70th anniversary of its military through various political events, including a massive military parade.
The anniversary was originally celebrated on February 8th, but in 1978 Kim Il-sung moved the military's founding day to April 25th -- the day anti-Japanese forces were established.

Satellite images last week showed North Korea preparing around 12-thousand troops, military vehicles, and artillery equipment at the Mirim Parade Training Ground -- a spot typically active only ahead of national parades.
Invitations were also sent to diplomats,... suggesting that the North was planning a major military parade.
The parade would be a way for leader Kim Jong-un to make a statement to the international community that despite its diplomatic peace gestures,... the North's military and nuclear capabilities remain strong.

If the celebrations do take place on February 8th, they would fall on the eve of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
North Korea's appearance at the Olympics appeared to be a sign of improving relations.
The two Koreas agreed to form a combined women's ice hockey team for the games, and march under a united flag in the opening ceremony.
Although the anniversary celebrations could dent that current thaw in inter-Korean ties,... it is likely that Kim Jong-un will push forward with the parade.

Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.

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