Washington downplays N. Korea military parade set for February 8th

미 국방부 "북 열병식 자주 해온 일…어떤 위협에도 대응"

Despite tensions over North Korea's move to hold a military parade before the PyeongChang Olympics... Washington has downplayed its significance.
Rather, it regards the inter-Korean dialogue as a precursor to denuclearization talks.
Lee Jeong-yeon reports.
Just a day before the start of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Friday here in South Korea, is North Korea's newly designated Foundation Day for the regime's Korean People's Army on February 8th.
Pyongyang is to hold a range of celebratory events on the day, the main one being a large military parade.
When asked about the possible impact of the parade just before the Winter Games, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson Dana White said on Thursday... that North Korea "often has parades," and that the U.S. is "very capable of countering any threat to the United States, its allies or its partners."
The spokesperson added that Washington sees the resumption of inter-Korean dialogue as a good sign, and hopes it could lead to denuclearization talks between Washington and Pyongyang.
According to Voice of America, satellite images of the regime show the preparations for the parade are well underway. Photos taken on Thursday are said to reveal 'red waves of people,' aligned to spell out the name 'Kim Jong-un,' at Kim Il-sung Square. Other photos taken earlier in January show large movements at a square near the Mirim Air Base in Pyongyang,... with hundreds of vehicles parked outside, and troops in large formations. According to VOA, the scale of the parade seems to be similar to that of last year.
North Korea often uses parades as a way to showcase its military might on special occasions...sometimes revealing newly developed weapons. The foundation day was previously celebrated on April 25th.

Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News

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