SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – North Korea is marking a major state anniversary on Friday with a stronger call for allegiance to leader Kim Jong Un, but no word of a parade Military operations are expected to display new weapons amid growing hostility to the United States.
The 110th anniversary of the birth of late grandfather and state founder Kim Il Sung comes after North Korea has conducted numerous weapons tests in recent months, including the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korea aims to expand its arsenal and increase pressure on the United States amid a long-stalled nuclear diplomacy, experts say.
North Korea’s state-run website Uriminzokkiri said: “Let us work even harder to pay our respects to our respected comrade Kim Jong Un and on the way to finally realize the wish. The dream of our great president (Kim Il-sung) is to build a powerful socialist state,” North Korea’s state website Uriminzokkiri said in a commentary.
North Korea’s main Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported that North Korea is honoring Kim Il Sung as “forever president” under the excellent leadership of Comrade Kim Jong Un. “
Kim Il Sung’s birthday is the most important national holiday in North Korea, where the Kim family has ruled under a strong personality sect since its founding in 1948. Kim Jong Un is the third generation. in his family ruled North Korea after his father died. at the end of 2011.
Kim has fueled ambitions to improve his nuclear arsenal while revitalizing the economy. But the combination of hardships caused by the pandemic, US-led sanctions and his own mismanagement has dealt a massive economic blow in what has become the most difficult of times. during his decade in power.
North Korea often marks important state anniversaries with large military parades with newly built missiles. State media said Kim Il Sung’s birthday was celebrated with fireworks, dance parties and performances, but made no mention of a military parade.
NK News, a news agency focused on North Korea, said its sources in Pyongyang said they heard jets and helicopters flying low over the city center shortly after midnight on Thursday – a a possible sign that a nighttime parade was underway. South Korea’s defense ministry said it had no immediate information to share with the media about a possible military parade in North Korea.
After a series of missile tests by North Korea earlier this year, South Korean officials said the North could soon launch new provocations such as an additional ICBM test, a banned missile launch to sending a spy satellite into orbit, or even a nuclear bomb test. is the seventh of its kind.
South Korea’s military said it had recently detected signs that North Korea was rebuilding tunnels at a nuclear test site it partially dismantled before the start of nuclear talks with the United States on Wednesday. 2018. Some experts believe that North Korea is likely to conduct a nuclear test after the US and South Korean militaries began annual drills that North Korea sees as an invasion rehearsal this week. next.
“I think they will conduct a nuclear test after completing the restoration of the test facility,” said Moon Seong Mook, an analyst at the Seoul-based National Institute for Strategic Studies on Korea. Nuclear”. “There’s no reason for them to bring its test site back if they don’t plan to use it for bomb testing.”
Some experts suggest that the ongoing boom could also be fueled by domestic politics, as Kim has had no significant achievements to brag about to the public since his summit with President Xi Jinping. then-President Donald Trump’s bid to win needed sanctions relief collapsed in 2019. Last year. Kim admitted North Korea was facing “the worst situation ever”.