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N. Korea pushes ahead with military parade

Posted February. 05, 2018 08:02,   

Updated February. 05, 2018 08:02


“Would (South Korea) shelve its ‘Armed Forces Day’ if demanded so?” This is what North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun daily reported on Saturday, saying Pyongyang will push ahead with a military parade for the 70th anniversary of its military’s founding, which is scheduled on the eve of the Pyeongchang 2018 Opening Ceremony in South Korea.

“All countries in the world value the day of its military’s founding, and hold large-scale events to commemorate, which is customary and is a basic common sense,” the daily said in an individual writer’s commentary. “We are holding major national events on October 10, the founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party. Would South Korea shelve events if demanded to stop such events on its ‘Armed Forces Day’ on October 1, which convenes just ahead of our events?” The daily went on to say,” The South should have scheduled the Winter Olympics on other days in the first place, and it has no reason to make verbal protest just now,” blasting Seoul by saying that it is completely nonsense and an unjustifiable demand.

However, some analysts say that such claim by the North is unjustifiable argument. While the schedule for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics was fixed and announced already years ago, the North only announced change of schedule for the day of its military’s founding abruptly on January 23. The North originally designated February 8, 1948, when its People’s Army was founded as the day of its military’s founding, but changed the date in 1978 to April 25, when its founder Kim Il Sung allegedly assembled an anti-Japanese guerrilla unit, before returning to the previous date this time.

“The day of the North’s military parade happens to coincide with the opening day of the Olympics,” the South Korean government said. “The military parade is just the North’s internal event.”

Na-Ri Shin journari@donga.com