Hell with the ICBM, the important question is, “Is that really Kim Jong Un, or is it one of his doppelgangers?”
North Korea held a rare predawn military parade on Saturday, marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party, reported Reuters.
Tens of thousands of spectators waved mini-North Korean flags and cheered when the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, emerged from a building between Friday midnight and the early hours of Saturday morning to give a speech.
While much of Kim’s speech has yet to be translated, The Guardian says Kim told the audience he was grateful “not a single person” in the county has contracted COVID-19.
South Korea’s joint chiefs of staff said “large crowds and equipment” had been mobilized to the Pyongyang region ahead of the event.
- “There was a sign that North Korea conducted a military parade this morning at Kim Il Sung Square, mobilizing large scale equipment and personnel,” it said in a statement.
“South Korea and U.S. intelligence authorities are closely monitoring developments, including for the possibility that it was the main event.”
Outside observers (N.K. Pro Analyst Ankit Panda and Oryx analyst Joost Oliemans, as well as N.K. News journalists Chad O’Carroll and Jeongmin Kim), streamed the event with commentary on Saturday. They said North Korea unveiled the latest weapons that would concern Washington and its allies in the region.
The event was a show of force ahead of the U.S. presidential elections on Nov. 03, as denuclearization with the Trump administration has stalled.
Reuters said a “previously unseen new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was at a military parade in Pyongyang on Saturday.”
- “Edited footage shown on state television showed an ICBM on a transporter vehicle with at least 22 wheels, larger than anything previously displayed by the nuclear-armed country. It was the first time since 2018 that North Korea has shown ICBMs at a military parade,” Reuters said.
Reuters also noted “commercial satellite imagery” in recent weeks has shown thousands of North Korean soldiers mobilizing in the area.
The last time North Korea broadcasted a military parade was in 2017 when President Trump and Kim were at each other’s throats.