North Korea holds large military parade: ‘Especially for its own people’

North Korea is developing missiles that can be fired from submarines. According to North Korea expert Koen de Ceuster it is quite possible that these missiles, among other things, were driven through the streets of Pyongyang.

They are not revelations that will make the international community sit on the edge of its seat. “It is an opportunity for the intelligence services to see what North Korea is coming up with, but it is not looked at with high voltage. It will rather confirm what they already know,” says De Ceuster.

According to 38 North, an organization that analyzes North Korea, recent satellite images also showed that thousands of soldiers marched through the streets while leader Kim Jong-un watched. It’s not yet clear whether North Korea has adjusted its military parade this time around amid the corona pandemic.

Food scarcity

According to De Ceuster, the military display of power is not only intended for the outside world. “This parade is mainly intended for its own population. To show that, despite all the bumps, the country is still standing and is successful in the military field.”

North Korea is not exactly going well. This summer the country was ravaged by typhoons that flooded many areas. Food scarcity reigns supreme.

In addition, international sanctions weigh heavily on the economy. Kim Jong-un made a bold statement in 2016: within five years, the lives of North Koreans would improve significantly.

There is no breakthrough

Hopes were pinned on a normalization of diplomatic relations. “There seemed to be a breakthrough then. A meeting with President Donald Trump opened the gate for international diplomacy. But the breakthrough did not come and international sanctions were not eased.”

Today’s military parade should not be seen as an aggressive provocation, according to De Ceuster. As a way for North Korea to make it clear that the development of new weapons is a direct result of the deteriorated relations and sanctions imposed.

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