North Korea is said to have prepared five huge celebrations, including a military parade, where at least 10,000 people will participate, to mark the 70th anniversary of the country’s founding on September 9. The North has requested embassies and international organizations in Pyongyang to submit an application if they wish to participate.
According to NK News on Tuesday, North Korea sent an official document to embassies and international organizations in Pyongyang that says a total of five celebratory events will be held on Sunday. The celebrations include a military parade, “Glorious Country” mass games, a torch parade, and “national meeting.” The document also said the time and location will be informed later once invitees confirm which events they would like to attend.
North Korea’s national carrier Air Koryo is planning to add six more flights from Beijing to Pyongyang for three days from Thursday to accommodate foreign passengers.
Many expect the scale of the military parade this time will be similar to one in February, which was staged to celebrate the foundation of the North’s military. The Voice of America reported on Tuesday that about 10,000 soldiers are practicing for the Sept. 9 military parade. A satellite imagery gathered by Planet Labs Inc. on Friday showed a crowd of 40 dots forming a line in the center of a square located north of the Mirim airfield in Pyongyang.
All eyes are on whether North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will make a speech at the September 9 celebrations. “North Korea leader Kim Jong Un’s speech and a subsequent report from the Rodong Sinmun newspaper are as important as the event itself,” said Professor Yang Moo-jin at the University of North Korean Studies. “They will show North Korea’s message toward the United States, China, and South Korea and we’ll be able to decide our policy direction.