North Korea will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of its ruling political party—the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) on Saturday, October 10. The analysis of satellite images showed that Pyongyang is preparing one of the biggest military parades in the history of the country as part of its celebration, according to 38 North.
North Korea prepared the celebration for six months
Kim Jong-un’s regime started preparing the celebration of the WPK’s anniversary in May when troops and equipment arrived at the former Mirim (Pyongyang East) Airbase, which was converted into a parade training ground and assembly area in the 1990s.
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The Airbase has a small helicopter base and its support areas cover around 1.5 square km. It is also composed of a 6 km practice track and roads including a replica of Kim II Sung Square, where the actual parade will take place. Satellite images showed that North Korea erected 45 tents on the helicopter base of the Airbase.
Base on the latest satellite images, the number of erected tents at the Airbase increased to 800. There were also around 700 trucks and more than 200 armored vehicles in the area. There were also temporary shelters for larger equipment such as ballistic missiles and long-range self-propelling guns.
Troops were also seen marching around the practice track and parading before the replica reviewing stand. There were also several horse riders practicing at the Mirim Riding Club.
North Korean affairs analysts Joseph Bermudez Jr. suggested that the tents, trucks, armored vehicles and troop formations in the Airbase were probably part of North Korea’s “preparation for the parade.” He added that North Korea’s upcoming parade could be one of the largest in the history of the county given its six months preparation and the build-up of equipment and troops at its training ground and assembly area.
The Worker’s Party runs everything in North Korea
Kim II Sung established the Worker’s Party at the Soviet-occupied norther portion of Korea in 1946. He was a longtime guerrilla fighter training with the Soviet army. He was against the Japanese control of Korea for almost four decades.
Since its establishment, the Worker’s Party became the unquestioned, dominant political power in North Korea. The country’s Constitution as amended in 1998 stated, “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea shall conduct all activities under the leadership of the Workers’ Party.”
Kim Jong-un is the first secretary of the Worker’s Party. In an interview with CNN, Sung-Yoon Lee, a professor of korean Studies at Tufts University told CNN “The Worker’s Party is the locus power in North Korea. The party runs everything.”
Professor Lee added, the Worker’s Party controls the country’s military. He said, “In the simple sense, the party makes all key personnel decisions in the military, who gets promoted, who gets executed.”
North Korea expected to highlight its military muscle
Political observers believe that North Korea will highlight its military muscle during the celebration. According to them, the event will also showcase the country’s loyalty and support for its Supreme leader Kim Jong-un.
Professor Lee also explained that the 70th anniversary is “very important” to the Worker’s Party and he thinks North Korea needs the occasion internally and externally to “show off and to show to the world and the U.S. its weapons with mid or long-range capabilities.”
A top U.S. military official recently stated that Washington believed that North Korea has the capability to launch a nuclear attack that could reach its mainland. The United States is ready to defend itself against any attack.
North Korea invited western journalists to witness the 70th Anniversary of the Worker’s Party.