Photos are a sampling of past military parades released by KCNA.
SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) — North Korea said Tuesday that it has designated Feb. 8 as the new founding anniversary of its army and will prepare “practical” steps to mark the “historic” occasion, which will come one day before South Korea opens the Winter Olympic Games.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a report monitored in Seoul that it has changed the anniversary date of the establishment of the Korean People’s Army (KPA), which previously fell on April 25.
“Feb. 8 will be marked as the Army-Building Day,” the KCNA said. “The Cabinet and other relevant organs will take practical steps to significantly mark the founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army.”
The KCNA didn’t provide details on what steps will be taken. It has been reported that the North might be preparing a large-scale military parade that will require mobilization of troops and diverse weaponry.
A South Korean government official said earlier that the mobilization of around 13,000 troops and some 200 pieces of equipment have been detected near an airport in Pyongyang for what appears to be a rehearsal for a military parade.
The KCNA, meanwhile, said that the North will mark April 25 as the anniversary of late leader Kim Il-sung’s establishment of the “Korean People’s Revolutionary Army,” which is considered to be a prototype for its KPA.
The new Army-Building Day is just one day before South Korea is to host the Winter Olympics in its eastern town of PyeongChang. The North plans to join the Feb. 9-25 sporting event by sending athletes, an art troupe and officials.
North Korea’s advance team wrapped up its two day stay in South Korea on Monday, after inspecting performance venues. South Korea will send its own inspection team to the North on Tuesday to inspect the venues where the two Koreas will hold joint cultural and sports events.
NORTH KOREA’S ANNOUNCEMENT IN STATE MEDIA:
Pyongyang, January 23 (KCNA) — The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea on Monday announced the decision to mark February 8 as the founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army (KPA).
According to the decision, Feb. 8, Juche 37 (1948) is a historic day when the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army developed into the regular revolutionary armed forces to declare the birth of the KPA.
Considering the foundation of a strong regular army to be essential for the building of an independent and sovereign state after the liberation of the country, President Kim Il Sung founded the KPA, the Juche-type revolutionary regular armed forces, which inherited the anti-Japanese tradition, in a span of less than three years with his outstanding idea of army-building and energetic leadership.
The Political Bureau of the C.C., the WPK decided as follows to add luster to the revolutionary feats of the President, the founder and builder of the heroic KPA:
February 8, Juche 37 (1948) when the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung developed the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army into the regular revolutionary armed forces will be marked as the founding anniversary of the KPA.
In this regard, April 25, Juche 21 (1932) when he founded the first revolutionary armed forces will be marked as the founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army.
February 8 will be marked as the Army-Building Day.
The Party organizations at all levels will conduct politico-ideological education and significantly hold diverse events for making the service personnel, Party members and other working people deeply grasp the feats of the great leader Comrade Kim Il Sung for building of the regular revolutionary armed forces on the occasion of Feb. 8 every year.
The Cabinet and other relevant organs will take practical steps to significantly mark the founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Army. –