North Korea to Hold Large-Scale Military Parade Ahead of Party Anniversary

This comes amid a surge in cross-border tensions after North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong.

North Korea is preparing to hold a large-scale military parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party, South Korea's Defence Ministry said on Monday, amid speculation that Pyongyang could showcase new strategic weapons.

In a report to Parliament's defense committee, the Ministry said new buildings were spotted under construction at the Mirim airfield in Pyongyang, a possible sign the North could showcase an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) or a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) on October 10, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Pyongyand parade, North Korea
A motorcade accompanies an open car carrying North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a car parade through Pyongyang on their way to Paekhwawon State Guesthouse on Sept. 18, 2018, in this image from live TV coverage shown at the press center in Seoul. Moon arrived in the North on the day for his third summit with Kim Yonhap/IANS

"The North Korean military is continuing activities to prepare for an event to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the establishment of its party," the Ministry said in the report, adding that repair work for Kim Il-sung Square was also underway.

Flexing Its Military

The North has used military parades on important national days to flex its military muscle by displaying newly developed weapons, including missiles. It usually holds bigger events to celebrate anniversaries every fifth or 10th year.

The Ministry said no unusual movements have been detected in relation to the North's nuclear program, but missile development activities have continued.

Surge in Cross-Border Tensions

The assessment came amid a surge in cross-border tensions after North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office in its border town of Kaesong last week in anger over anti-Pyongyang leaflets sent across the border by activists here, said the Yonhap News Agency.

The North has since threatened to send troops to disarmed border regions and abolish an inter-Korean tension-reduction deal signed in 2018.

South Korea and the US have boosted their joint monitoring and intel-sharing in light of the North's threats and will carry out their combined exercises this year at a level similar to last year's, the Ministry added.