10/09/2020, 10.07
NORTH KOREA
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Kim Jong-un prepares a military parade for 75th anniversary of the Party

According to the Southern military, Pyongyang could unveil new strategic weapons. Seoul: demonstration of strength and national unity in a time of economic difficulty. A missile test possible to mark the celebrations. Analysts: The North wants to restart dialogue with the US on nuclear power.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korea is likely to hold a military parade to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party, in power since the end of the Second World War. The South Korean Armed Forces reported the news today, referring to information from satellite images.

During the celebrations, scheduled for October 10, the Kim Jong-un regime could unveil new strategic weapons to the world: a new generation ICBM and, above all, a missile with nuclear capability that can be launched from a submarine (Kim had mentioned the existence in his New Year's speech).

According to Seoul, the North wants to stage a demonstration of power to strengthen internal unity in a time of crisis. The coronavirus pandemic and recent floods have dealt a severe blow to the already weakened local economy. The South’s Central Bank has calculated that North Korean GDP grew by only 0.4% in 2019 - the first positive sign in three years. United Nations estimates show that 40% of the North Korean population is malnourished.

South Korea's defense minister Suh Wook, recently said that Pyongyang is continuing to develop its missile capabilities and could carry out a test on the day of the celebrations. Opposition MPs to the Moon Jae-in government argue that North Korea has recently completed the construction of a military polygon on an island in the East Sea (Sea of ​​Japan): it should be the target of a missile exercise.

Last June, Kim suspended military plans against South Korea. The North Korean leader had previously threatened to send troops into the demilitarized zone between the two countries; his was a response to the launch of defamatory leaflets into North Korea by North Korean dissidents who had fled to the South. The two Koreas are technically at war; Pyongyang and Seoul never signed a peace treaty at the end of the conflict that saw them opposed from 1950 to 1953.

After Kim's two meetings (in 2018 and 2019) with US President Donald Trump, North Korea had halted nuclear tests and limited missile tests. Analysts note that the October 10 parade could be used by Pyongyang to restart talks with the United States on its nuclear program.

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