Seoul, Jul 26 (EFE).- North Korea is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War (1950-53) with a massive military parade, marking the first such celebration to be held in presence of foreign (Russian and Chinese) delegations since 2018.
The military display is expected to take place at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-Sung Square in the early hours of Thursday at dark of the night.
In the parade, Pyongyang is expected to display its most sophisticated nuclear-capable ballistic missiles and latest weaponry it has developed as part of its weapons modernization program initiated in 2021.
Through the event, Pyongyang is celebrating the end of the war between North and South Koreas that ended in July 1953 with the signing of an armistice, rather than a formal peace treaty.
The anniversary comes at a time of heightened tensions on the Peninsula marked by increasing North Korean missile tests- particularly those of its most sophisticated intercontinental ballistic missile – and intensified US military exercises with South Korea including the temporary deployment of US nuclear-armed submarines.
The military parade would take place in presence of foreign delegations for the first time since 2018, particularly after North Korea’s self-imposed pandemic restrictions in 2020.
The visiting foreign delegations include a Russian military delegation led by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu that arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
A Chinese delegation led by Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong would also attend the anniversary in Pyongyang.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, North Korea has been maintaining a strict closed-border policy that even prevented North Korea’s oversea workers and diplomats from returning to their home country during the past three years.
The decision to invite these delegations amid the border restrictions underlines Pyongyang’s intention to deepen ties and find common grounds with Beijing and Moscow in the face of rising tensions with Washington and Seoul.
However, the visits also suggest that North Korea is gradually opening up and easing border restrictions after years of pandemic isolation. EFE