(PYONGYANG, North Korea) — North Korea threw a choreographed military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday — the eve of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The display of might included hundreds of goose-stepping soldiers in disciplined formation and rows of missiles and tanks to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country’s military.
“As long as the imperialism remains on the earth and as long as the anti-North Korea policy of the United States continues, the mission of our military, which is to protect our country and people and secure peace, can never change,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, sporting a black coat and black fedora, said from a podium alongside wife Ri Sul-Joo and senior military commanders.
The government had no live broadcast of the parade, which started at 10:30 a.m. local time in Kim Il-sung Square. Instead, it chose to air an edited version of the parade later in the afternoon.
The video showed a parade that seemed to have been shorter than previous ones. Pyongyang’s most recent parade was last April, during which officials unveiled five new kinds of missiles. The North also paraded ICBMs this year.
Seoul welcomed the lower-profile parade, and some analysts said the North was intentionally trying not to provoke South Korea amid the recent sprit of detente that includes North Korea’s participation in the South Korea Olympics starting this week.
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