AFP-Jiji SEOUL (AFP-Jiji) — North Korea staged a military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday to mark the 70th anniversary of its armed forces, putting its intercontinental ballistic missiles on show just a day before the Winter Olympics open in the South.
The North is on an Olympics-linked charm offensive — sending a troupe of performers, hundreds of female cheerleaders, and the sister of leader Kim Jong Un to South Korea. But regiments of soldiers goose-stepped in formation through Kim Il Sung Square on Thursday, followed by trucks, artillery, tanks and finally the giant missiles — as well as a band forming the word “Victory” in the Korean script.
Unlike the North’s last parade in April 2017 state television did not show the event live, instead airing it hours later.
Fireworks went off as leader Kim Jong Un took his place on the rostrum to watch the display, along with his wife Ri Sol Ju and the ceremonial head of state Kim Yong Nam, who will head Pyongyang’s delegation to the Olympics on Friday.