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N.K. stepping up preparations for military parade: report

2018/01/30 14:11

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SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) -- Fully-dressed preparations for a grand military parade to mark the new founding anniversary of North Korea's military have been spotted at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang by a commercial satellite, a U.S. broadcaster reported Tuesday.

A week ago, the North abruptly declared Feb. 8 the new founding anniversary of its army, instead of April 25, which had been observed as the anniversary for years. April 25 is claimed to be the day when late North Korea founder Kim Il-sung, the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un, established the Korean People's Revolutionary Army in 1934.

Since then, scenes to prepare for a large-scale parade have been captured in the North's capital by Western satellites.

Satellite images from Planet, taken at 11:24 a.m., Sunday (Pyongyang Time), show the square covered with red waves that were apparently created by a massive crowd, with three big yellow letters dimly spotted at the center of the waves, Voice of America said.

Taken at 10:17 and 10:56 a.m. the same day, Planet photos also show a huge crowd gathering at the square, according to the broadcaster.

Given photos of the empty square, taken on Saturday, the North appears to have begun mobilizing a massive crowd on Sunday for the upcoming military parade, the broadcaster said.

The square was occasionally used for grand military parades in the past, featuring big red waves and yellow propaganda phrases.

Last week, the broadcaster also reported a massive group of North Korean soldiers and vehicles were captured by Planet at the north square of Mirim Airport, 7.5 km east of the Kim Il-sung Square, in apparent preparation for a parade.

This photo, released on April 16, 2017 by the Rodong Sinmun, a daily of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, shows a massive military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap) This photo, released on April 16, 2017 by the Rodong Sinmun, a daily of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party, shows a massive military parade at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

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