North Korea hosted a rare night-time military parade on Saturday, attended by Leader Kim Jong-un.
The parade marked the 75th anniversary of the Labor Party.
North Korea usually uses its parades to showcase new missiles and weapons. Experts say ICBMs were evident during the Saturday morning event.
It’s the country’s first parade in two years and comes just weeks before the US presidential election.
North Korea had not shown ballistic missiles in its parades since President Donald Trump and Kim’s first summit in 2018.
According to the South Korean military, the parade took place on Saturday before dawn. It is not yet known why the event took place so early.
Foreign media or foreigners were not allowed to attend the event, so analysts rely on edited state media material released to evaluate the parade.
The pictures showed Mr. Kim in a gray western-style suit receiving flowers from children.
In a speech, he said the country would further “strengthen” its “self-defense and deterrent” military.
He also said he was grateful that no North Korean had signed Covid-19.
“I wish good health to all people around the world who are fighting the evils of this nasty virus,” he said.
Despite claims the country has no cases of coronavirus, Mr Kim continues to hold high-level meetings to ensure that strict restrictions remain in place.
Analysts have said it is highly unlikely that North Korea has not had any coronavirus cases at all.
- The King of Pyongyang
- North Korea is preparing for the “largest military parade”
There was no sign of anyone wearing masks during the parade. However, according to the AFP news agency, far fewer people were involved in the event than usual.
North Korea closed its borders to the outside world in January to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from neighboring China.
Authorities reportedly issued “shoot-to-kill” orders along the border and created a buffer zone to prevent people from entering the country.
Last month, Mr. Kim apologized for the fatal shooting at a South Korean. South Korea said the 47-year-old man was found by troops while they were swimming in northern waters. He was then shot and his body was set on fire, according to Seoul.
For weeks satellite imagery has shown thousands of people practicing for Saturday’s parade.
Foreign officials in Pyongyang were instructed not to travel around the city, approach the venue and take photos of the event.