North Korea Leadership Watch

Research and Analysis on the DPRK Leadership

DPRK Prepares for Military Parade

The Mirim Airport in east Pyongyang. Since July the KPA has reportedly been gathering personnel and equipment for what is expected to be the largest military parade in the DPRK's history. While no date for the parade has been announced, it seems to be part of the commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers' Party. (Photo: GoogleEarth)

The Korean People’s Army appears to be finalizing preparations for one of the DPRK’s largest military parades in its history.  The parade will occur in Pyongyang, possibly as part of the celebration of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Workers Party around 10 October.  Approximately 10,000 of the KPA have reportedly rehearsed for the parade.  Soldiers, mechanized combat vehicles and tanks have reportedly gathered near Mirim Airport in east Pyongyang, which has led observers to believe that this military parade will be double the previous size of similar events.

It is believed that the KPA has been gathering the personnel and equipment since July.  There were rumors of preparations for a military parade  in August.  It was reported by ITAR-TASS in August that DPRK officials purchased nine trotter horses from a Russian stud farm for use “in state celebrations and festivities.”  On another note; following official commemorations for the 50th anniversary of Kim Jong Il’s songun guidance in late August, KCTV re-aired (on consecutive evenings) military parades from the 1990s and 2000s.

A number of troops, missiles, armored vehicles and artillery rockets have been converging on the Mirim Airbase in Pyongyang since July 12, while as many as 10,000 soldiers have rehearsed for a parade that will be inspected by leader Kim Jong-il, the sources said, requesting anonymity.

The sources said it may become North Korea’s largest-ever military parade in that the number of troops mobilized is more than double the size in previous events.

“Judging from the current preparations, it is likely to be a large-scale event different from previous years,” said a source monitoring North Korea affairs.

The North’s powerful Workers’ Party plans to convene a rare conference of representatives on Tuesday and will also celebrate the 65th founding anniversary on Oct. 10.

An affiliate of 38 North