North Korea planning military parade on eve of PyeongChang Olympics

北, '건군절' 2월8일로 변경…평창올림픽 개막 전날
It's now confirmed Pyongyang is preparing to hold a major military parade, on the eve of the winter olympics.
Setting February 8th as the official founding day, the regime's armed forces will put on display for the world to see... its most advanced weapons.
Park Hee-jun delves deeper into the implications of the decision that severely dampens the newly established reconciliatory mood. A grand display of all its missiles and artillery.
That's what's expected of North Korea on February 8th.

The North's state-run news agency KCNA reported Tuesday that the regime has designated February 8th as the official founding day of its military forces.
The anniversary was originally celebrated on February 8th, but in 1978 Kim Il-sung moved it to April 25th -- the day anti-Japanese forces were established-- now it has been moved back.

(Korean) -
"The modern military was formed on February 8th, 1948. Kim Jong-un is choosing to mark the founding day to that date, to focus on the fact that North Korea is a full-fledged nuclear state that has strong military power."

Experts say that the parade is highly likely to show-off North Korea's nuclear weapons.
It 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.
Although the North may not have designated the date directly because of the Olympics,... it is likely that it wanted to take advantage of the global event as a means to display more power.

(Korean) -
"Although the designation was mainly due to internal reasons,... North Korea would have considered the Olympics as a way to add more meaning to the founding day and receive more attention when it boasts its nuclear power."

North Korea's appearance at the Olympics had appeared to be a sign of improving relations.
But 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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