Tags: North Korea | Koreas | Tensions | parade | missiles

NKorea to Parade Long-Range Missiles Before Winter Olympics

Image: NKorea to Parade Long-Range Missiles Before Winter Olympics
(Reuters)

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10:31 AM

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea is planning to stage a massive military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military on Feb. 8, just one day before the Olympics' opening ceremony, South Korean officials said.

The North Koreans plan to parade hundreds of missiles and rockets, including dozens of its long-range Hwasong-15 missiles that they first tested in November. 

The parade and South Korea's objection to it led to North Korea's cancelation of one of the joint cooperation projects planned for next month's Winter Olympics, a development highlighting the delicate nature of ties between the rivals split for seven decades.

In a message sent over a cross-border communication channel, South Korea demanded the North to fulfill mutual agreements over a set of conciliatory gestures to mark the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.

North Korea on Monday night sent a message saying it won't hold a joint cultural event at the North's Diamond Mountain on Feb. 4, which was one of two pre-Olympic events in North Korea the countries had agreed to.

The ministry cited North Korea as saying it has no other option but to cancel the cultural event because of South Korean media reports that it says defamed its "sincere" measures for the Olympics.

The North also accused South Korean media of picking a fight over an unspecified domestic festival in North Korea, ostensibly the military parade, according to the ministry statement.

North Korea has a history of last-minute cancellations and unexplained reversals, and some experts say it might have sought to gain concessions from the South. The visit earlier this month of a prominent band leader to inspect artistic venues in the South was delayed by North Korea but eventually took place.

The Koreas' current reconciliation mood followed a year of heightened animosities over North Korea's nuclear program. Many analysts say the North may want to use improved ties with South Korea to weaken U.S.-led international pressure and sanctions on the country.

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North Korea is planning to stage a massive military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military on Feb. 8, just one day before the Olympics' opening ceremony, South Korean officials said. The North Koreans plan to parade hundreds...
Koreas, Tensions, parade, missiles
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2018-31-31
Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10:31 AM
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