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North Korea stages military parade on eve of Olympics

North Korea has held a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of its armed forces, just one day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Footage from North Korea showed leader Kim Jong-un and party officials watching the annual display of military strength in the capital, Pyongyang, as goose-stepping soldiers and tanks paraded past them on Thursday.

Citing analysis of images from the event, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that a Hwasong-15 long-range missile was part of the procession. Experts also said that the Hwasong-14 was also on display.

Observers, however, noted that the parade appeared to be shorter and smaller in scale than a major event staged last year. A livestream of the parade was also not available this time, while foreign journalists  were not invited as in previous years.

This comes as teams from both North and South Korea are due to march together under a “unification flag” at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games on Friday.

Speaking at the occasion, Kim said the military parade showcased “the status of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which has developed into a world-class military power.”

More than 50,000 people, including 13,000 troops, participated in the event, according The Korea Times

North Korea held a massive military parade in April last year to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of the nation’s founding president, Kim Il-sung.


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