Rabu, 08 September 2021

North Korea holds anniversary parade -

Pyongyang has previously used parades to send messages to audiences abroad and at home, usually timing them to coincide with anniversaries

North Korea staged a parade of "paramilitary and public security forces" in Pyongyang in the early hours of Thursday, state media reported, the nuclear-armed nation's third procession in less than a year.

Pyongyang has continued to pursue its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programmes -- for which it is internationally sanctioned -- during the diplomatic engagement of recent years and often uses military parades to show off its latest developments.

But Thursday's event was significantly less assertive, including detachments from the railways ministry, Air Koryo and the Hungnam Fertilizer Complex, and no mention of strategic weapons systems on display.

The pageant featured Red Guards and members of the ruling Workers' Party, it said, as well as parachutists, mechanised paramilitary units and a flypast.

But instead of the giant missiles -- whether real or models -- that are the usual climax to a military parade, the last unit to enter the square was the public security forces' fire brigade.

- 'Dead of night' -

Thursday marks 73 years since the foundation of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as the North is officially known.

It has not carried out a nuclear test or an intercontinental ballistic missile launch since 2017.

"The only other way to show off their strategic weapons is to launch them, which carries the risk of sparking protest and further international sanctions," he told AFP.

Nuclear talks with the United States have been at a standstill since the collapse of a 2019 summit in Hanoi between Kim and then president Donald Trump over sanctions relief and what North Korea would be willing to give up in return.

The Biden administration has promised a "practical, calibrated approach", including diplomatic efforts, to persuade Pyongyang to give up its banned weapons programmes.

Last month, the UN atomic agency (IAEA) said Pyongyang appeared to have started its plutonium-producing reprocessing reactor at Yongbyon, calling it a "deeply troubling" development, and Kim's sister and key adviser Kim Yo Jong demanded the withdrawal of US troops from the peninsula.

Domestically the parade was an opportunity to shore up morale and "mass solidarity for the regime", Hong Min added.



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2021-09-09 01:37:06Z

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