Winter Olympics: North Korea presses ahead with military parade
February 3, 2018 3:40 pm
North Korea has defended plans for a large-scale military parade scheduled for the day before the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Pyongyang’s annual military parade to mark the founding of its armed forces has taken place in April for 40 years.
From 2018, however, it has been changed to 8 February – when athletes will gather in Pyeongchang for the opening ceremony the following day.
North Korea said that no-one had the right to take issue with its plans.
A column in the ruling Workers’ Party newspaper – the Rodong Sinmun – dismissed views that the event was provocative.
Instead, the newspaper said, it is “basic common sense that any country in the world takes the founding anniversary of its military very seriously and celebrates it”.
Pyongyang previously held its main military celebration on 25 April.
The 2018 celebration, however, will mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People’s Army, which was established on 8 February 1948.
Monitoring group 38 North, however, said that while satellite imagery showed “at least 12,000 troops” gathered at a parade training facility, current evidence suggested February’s event “will remain relatively smaller in scale” than previous parades.