Kim Jong-un attends paramilitary parade to mark key anniversary

International |  IANS  | Published :

Seoul, Sep 9 (IANS) North Korea staged a paramilitary parade in Pyongyang on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of the regime's founding day, with leader Kim Jong-un in attendance, state media said.

Kim observed the military parade that took place "with splendor" at Kim Il Sung Square to celebrate the founding anniversary, according to the the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim did not deliver a speech at the event, which was also attended by his daughter, believed to be named Ju-ae, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Also present were a Chinese delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu Guozhong, and visiting members of a Russian army song and dance ensemble, the KCNA report added.

Russia did not send a separate delegation this time.

The night-time event marks the third military parade North Korea has staged this year alone, with the latest one taking place in July on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the signing of the 1950-53 Korean War armistice.

The parade came amid speculation that Kim may travel to Vladivostok to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to discuss a possible arms deal.

A report of his possible trip to Russia spawns speculation that North Korea may provide artillery shells and other ammunition to Russia for use in Moscow's war with Ukraine in exchange for a weapons-related technology transfer from Russia, such as a spy satellite and a nuclear-powered submarine.

The latest paramilitary parade featured columns of motorcycles with high mobility and anti-tank missile launchers towed by tractors, according to the KCNA.

The North apparently did not display its intercontinental ballistic missiles and other strategic weapons.

The parade was mostly led by the Worker-Peasant Red Guards, a civilian defence organisation in the North consisting of around 5.7 million workers and farmers.

The North's state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Station said the leaders of Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have sent congratulatory messages to Kim on the occasion of the key anniversary.

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