Saturday, April 15, 2017
North Korea's 2017 Military Parade Was a Big Deal. Here Are the Major Takeaways
The Diplomat by Ankit Panda
-- On Saturday, North Korea staged a massive military parade to commemorate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, the country’s founder and grandfather of current leader, Kim Jong-un. The day, also known in the country as the ‘Day of the Sun,’ is the most important public holiday in North Korea. It commemorates not only the driving force behind the country’s founding, but also the patriarch of the Kim dynasty, whose personality cult rules supreme over North Korea to this day. The parade took place amid hot speculation in the United States, Japan, and South Korea that Pyongyang would look to also potentially test a sixth nuclear device, which it did not do.
Though it did not ultimately test a nuclear device on Saturday morning, what North Korea showed off at the parade should be equally concerning, even though it likely won’t be treated as such in the broader news cycle in the West. Below, I run through some of what was shown off with brief comment. In the coming days and weeks, we should see analytical deep dives into the parade footage from the community of dedicated North Korea watchers.