Satellite images show N.Korea preparing for a military parade

North korea often holds military parades featuring new weapon systems

Seoul: North Korea is preparing for a massive military parade in its capital to mark the 75th anniversary of its ruling party next month, satellite images indicated Friday, even as the country strengthens its anti-coronavirus measures.

The images, provided by Maxar, a Colorado-based satellite imagery company, show thousands of people assembled information near Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square and rehearsing for a military parade. The anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party is on Oct. 10.

North Korea often holds military parades featuring goose-stepping soldiers and new weapons systems on state anniversaries to bolster unity and intimidate enemies.

North Korea insists it hasn’t had any coronavirus cases, a claim widely disputed by many foreign experts.

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On Monday, the North’s Korean Central News Agency said the country is intensifying its emergency anti-coronavirus efforts.

It said authorities are trying to boost the anti-pandemic atmosphere to ensure that the anti-virus campaign is waged consistently without a moment’s indolence, slackness, and carelessness.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for strong unity among the country’s 25 million people as it faces multiple crises including the pandemic, damage from a recent typhoon, and ongoing U.S.-led economic sanctions. He closed the country’s border with China, its biggest trading partner, in January over virus concerns.

Experts say the border closure has likely worsened North Korea’s already-troubled economy.

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Earlier this week, the nominee for chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff told lawmakers that North Korea might conduct its first underwater ballistic missile test in about a year ahead of the Oct. 10 ruling party anniversary.

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