At the parade to celebrate the anniversary of the founding of the country this Thursday (9), North Korea exhibited tractors and fire trucks, not the usual tanks and missiles.
The North Korean government has nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and faces international sanctions for it. Generally, the regime uses the parades to showcase their latest projects.
UN annual report says North Korea appears to have restarted a nuclear reactor that produces plutonium for nuclear weapons
At a January parade, celebrated the night before Joe Biden’s inauguration as president of the United States, the North Korean military unveiled its ballistic missiles for submarines in Kim Il Sung Square. Kim Jong-un, the country’s leader, was present on this occasion.
Parade image in North Korea on September 9, 2021 — Photo: Stringer/KCNA Via KNS/Via AFP
At the time, the official news agency, KCNA, described one of the missiles as “the most powerful weapon in the world”.
But on Thursday, the “paramilitary and public security event” included detachments from the Ministry of Railways and the Hungman Fertilizer Complex, according to the KCNA.
Image of parade in Pyongyang on September 9, 2021 — Photo: Stringer/KCNA Via KNS/Via AFP
Students with rifles, employees in gas masks and orange protective suits, and mechanized paramilitary units paraded through the capital. Participants and the public attended the event without masks against Covid, according to images released by the agency.
Parade image in North Korea, September 9, 2021 — Photo: Stringer/KCNA via KNS/Via AFP
The biggest weapons displayed were small artillery pieces pulled by tractors, which the KCNA said were carried by agricultural cooperative workers “to attack the aggressors and their vassal forces with annihilating firepower in an emergency.”
Kim Jong-un before parade in North Korea, September 9, 2021 — Photo: Stringer/KCNA Via KNS/Via AFP
The country’s official Kim Jong-un, dressed in a gray western-style suit, attended the event, marked by the cheers of the crowd during the fireworks.
This Thursday, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea, celebrates 73 years of its foundation.
The communist country has not been carrying out nuclear tests or launching intercontinental ballistic missiles since 2017.
The regime uses the parades to send a “message to the international community” without being exposed to reprisals, explains Hong Min, a researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.
“The only other way to show your strategic weapons is to launch them, which exposes them to protest and more international sanctions,” Hong Min said.