North Korea on Thursday, September 9 held a midnight military parade to mark their 73rd founding anniversary in the capital city of Pyongyang.
This was the 3rd parade that was held in North Korea in under a year following a parade held last October to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the worker’s party of North Korea which saw the display of the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and the Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) and one in January after the 8th congress of the worker’s party of North Korea. Contrary to what a myriad of people might believe North Korea does not hold parades as frequently as it did this past year.
This parade was broadcasted on the North Korean state run television on Thursday.
What set this parade apart?
This parade was unlike any other parade held in North Korea as it did not consist of any display of ballistic missiles, in fact no ballistic missiles were even mentioned. This parade was more of a celebration according to Yang Moo Jin, the vice president of public affairs of North Korea. According to Moo Jin the parade was held to strengthen internal solidarity and it would have been inappropriate to exhibit any sort of missiles. The purpose of this parade was not to intimidate any country but rather to boost the morale of the citizens of North Korea in the midst of a crisis as per some experts.
The event didn’t go on for very long as opposed to the previous military parades that took place this year. This parade lasted only for around 1 hour. In addition to that it was also scaled down.
This parade observed the troops and the emergency disease prevention unit in red hazmat suits and gas masks march past their leader. The hazmat suits and the gas masks represent the prevention of Covid-19 in North Korea as the country reported no Covid-19 cases during the course of the pandemic
The leader Kim Jong-un did not deliver a speech that could cause outrage with the US, South Korea or any other country; he just simply waved at the troops that marched past. In lieu of Kim Jong-un the member of the ruling party Ri Il-Hwan addressed the nation.
Another change that was observed during the event was Kim Jong-un’s weight loss. The leader looked much healthier and skinnier since his last public appearance. All these events are taking place amidst a food crisis in North Korea. The country is reportedly facing the worst food shortages at the time, which could be attributed to the isolated economy and a trade halt that the country is under.
The state media released photos where people were seen to be enjoying the event that represented solidarity. Paratroopers could be seen jumping off of aircrafts, fireworks filled the midnight sky in Pyongyang and firetrucks filled the Pyongyang soil.
This parade also featured students carrying rifles and farmers marching as well. People were also seen dancing towards the end of the parade.
These events are being held in North Korea amid one of the worst economic and food crises the country has ever witnessed according to the reports.