N. Korea holds military parade in Pyongyang

North Korea has staged a military parade through the capital Pyongyang, a source tells CNN.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 7:41 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 7:41 PM

Troops, missiles and tanks rolled into North Korea's historic Kim Il Sung Square Thursday in a highly anticipated parade of military might on the eve of South Korea's Winter Olympics.

The choreographed display involved hundreds of soldiers marching in unison, planes soaring above and four of Pyongyang's newest and most sophisticated missile, the Hwasong-15. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watched all of it from a balcony above.

The parade is being held to mark the day Kim's grandfather, Kim Il Sung, formed the Korean People's Army, and came as celebrations started in the South for the Games in the resort city of Pyeongchang.

Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, arrived by limousine and stepped out onto a red carpet. Kim arrived at last year's military parade in the same fashion but without his wife by his side.

Wearing a black fedora, the North Korean leader spoke from the balcony, addressing his people about the scourge of imperialism and the need to address it.

Kim declared that the military parade would show to the world that North Korea" has developed into a world-class military power."

"As long as imperialism is present on the Earth and US's hostile policy against North Korea continues, the mission of the Korea People's Army to be the strong sword that protects the country and people, and peace can never change," the North Korean leader said.

"The final victory lies to our party and people who is holding the gunstocks of revolution," Kim added.

After the address, what appeared to be a bevy of North Korea's latest intercontinental-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) were brought out on top of mobile launchers. However, the missiles themselves may not be viable -- some believe that Pyongyang does not trot out viable missiles out of fear of an accident.

Unlike last year's parade, North Korea did not introduce the world to any new missile systems.

"This was a much more grounded military parade in the sense that these are real systems they have actually tested," said Dave Schmerler, a research associate at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies' Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

An official at South Korea's Defense Ministry told CNN that compared to last year, the parade's content and scale both "seem to have been reduced."

South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that as many as 50,000 people gathered in the city's Kim Il Sung square to watch the event, which included around 13,000 soldiers. Diplomatic sources told CNN last month that "hundreds" of rockets and missiles would be featured during the display.

The parade began at 10:00 a.m. Pyongyang time, a diplomatic source with deep knowledge of North Korea's activities told CNN. At around the same time, hundreds of North Koreans who are in South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics attended a welcoming ceremony in Pyeongchang.

A diplomatic poke in the eye

Pyongyang's decision to hold a military display so close to the start of the Games is viewed by many as a poke in the eye to the administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, which has gone to extra lengths to present these Olympics as a symbol of peaceful cooperation.

International media wasn't invited into North Korea to see the parade, but North Korean state media aired footage after it finished on Thursday.

The footage was tightly put together, and included shots from what appeared to be drones above the soldiers and wide-angle action cameras mounted on the front of trucks.

It's unclear if the video was altered in any way, as North Korea state media has been caught modifying its imagery before.

Shortly before the parade was broadcast on state media, images trickled out on social media.

Michael Spavor, who runs a cultural exchange business that facilitates trips into North Korea, shared images showing what appeared to be hundreds of bystanders standing by a main thoroughfare in Pyongyang, with soldiers in trucks and atop tanks waving to them.

Olympic delegation

The North's participation in the Games was the result of painstaking diplomatic negotiations between Seoul and Pyongyang -- the first of their kind in nearly two years.

North Korea is sending a delegation of athletes, performers and high-ranking officials, including the country's premier and Kim Jong Un's younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, who is believed to be one of his most trusted advisers.

At the welcome ceremony Thursday, band members dressed in white suits and red coats played traditional music, and North Koreans, wearing red, white and blue uniforms, waved at the crowd.

A spokesman for Moon announced he will meet members of the North Korean delegation, including Kim Yo Jong.

Getting the Americans and North Koreans in the same room to talk, however, is unlikely.

North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Thursday "we have no intention to meet the US side during our visit to South Korea," and US Vice President Mike Pence -- who is leading the American delegation -- said he hadn't requested a meeting, but "we'll see what happens."

While US President Donald Trump and other high-ranking officials in Washington have praised the inter-Korean talks this year, the White House has gone to extra lengths to make sure Pyongyang does not succeed in using the Games for its own PR purposes.

"We will not allow North Korean propaganda to hijack the message and imagery of the Olympic Games," Pence said after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Pence also announced Wednesday the Trump administration plans to unveil what he called toughest and most aggressive" sanctions yet against North Korea.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 587049

Reported Deaths: 9287
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion810691296
Lake44121665
Allen31797541
Hamilton28178303
St. Joseph26684369
Elkhart24057340
Vanderburgh18519213
Tippecanoe17305121
Johnson14398284
Porter14342159
Hendricks13793241
Madison10509212
Vigo10432171
Clark10151129
Monroe9029108
Delaware8782129
LaPorte8721153
Kosciusko784677
Howard7834137
Warrick636790
Hancock633297
Bartholomew624294
Floyd6098105
Wayne5903156
Grant5799109
Dubois541670
Boone531467
Morgan512388
Marshall492484
Henry491164
Cass469060
Noble458757
Dearborn454544
Jackson413145
Shelby401178
Lawrence379475
Clinton363639
Gibson355056
DeKalb336363
Montgomery333851
Harrison326042
Knox325439
Miami308243
Steuben304940
Adams294435
Whitley292325
Wabash291645
Ripley290845
Putnam282447
Huntington281257
Jasper280733
White265738
Daviess260772
Jefferson248538
Fayette241348
Decatur241282
Greene232460
Posey230026
Wells228547
LaGrange223461
Clay216432
Scott216437
Randolph207540
Jennings191335
Sullivan188531
Spencer179917
Fountain178625
Washington175018
Starke170741
Jay162021
Fulton158829
Owen157837
Carroll151315
Orange150533
Rush148118
Perry145327
Vermillion144333
Franklin142533
Parke12788
Tipton127332
Pike113125
Blackford107022
Pulaski94637
Newton89020
Brown85530
Benton84110
Crawford7479
Martin69213
Warren6537
Switzerland6175
Union6063
Ohio4647
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 821507

Reported Deaths: 10135
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin96935704
Cuyahoga81526972
Hamilton60913438
Montgomery41445399
Summit33096726
Lucas29981591
Butler29513227
Stark24608400
Warren18792139
Lorain17916207
Mahoning16710335
Lake15255135
Clermont15053104
Delaware1374277
Licking12595132
Trumbull12352301
Fairfield1211380
Greene11532132
Medina11033165
Clark10557264
Wood9901154
Allen9481126
Portage8802105
Miami880173
Richland8748116
Marion7305113
Tuscarawas7095174
Columbiana7047124
Pickaway699850
Wayne6729162
Muskingum665342
Erie5866117
Hancock537090
Ross526087
Scioto514862
Geauga478255
Darke456089
Ashtabula437268
Union429228
Lawrence428951
Mercer423387
Sandusky419062
Seneca411755
Auglaize410959
Huron409138
Shelby408521
Jefferson400466
Belmont392840
Washington367940
Putnam363672
Athens36229
Madison337928
Knox334922
Ashland329138
Fulton324243
Defiance317078
Crawford311968
Preble310034
Brown294419
Logan291829
Ottawa280534
Clinton278143
Williams268966
Highland261318
Jackson255243
Guernsey239425
Champaign239227
Fayette224529
Morrow22194
Perry220517
Holmes217562
Henry208847
Hardin203032
Coshocton197120
Van Wert196244
Wyandot189949
Gallia189126
Adams165515
Pike163416
Hocking161923
Carroll148016
Paulding139021
Noble117540
Meigs102421
Monroe95227
Harrison8578
Morgan78227
Vinton65613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 22°
Angola
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 22°
Huntington
Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 22°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 22°
Lima
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 24°
Seasonal Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events