Monday, September 20

North Korea eases tension with the US with a parade without new, low-profile weapons


Beijing Correspondent

Updated:

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Commemorating the 73 years of its founding by Kim Il-sung, grandfather of the current dictator, North Korea He held one of his usual military parades last morning. But, unlike on other occasions, this time there was no fiery speech from their leader, Kim Jong-un, no new weapons were shown. On the other hand, it was at night, as in October last year, when the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party was celebrated.

Both then and last January, when there was another night military parade after the VIII Party Congress, new types of submarine and intercontinental missiles paraded, the latter capable of reaching, in theory, the United States. With these rockets, the communist regime of Pyongyang gave its particular welcome to President Joe Biden, who took office several days later. If at that time it was convenient for Kim Jong-un to show his arsenal, it seems that now it is not.

With the US shamefully withdrawn from Afghanistan in the face of China’s increasingly palpable rise, a new opportunity opens up to unlock peace and nuclear disarmament talks with North Korea. After the disbandment of the American troops from Kabul and the return of the taliban With Beijing’s diplomatic and economic blessing, Biden must be eager for some international success. And Pyongyang, which has always played its cards very well, must know it too and has preferred not to add fuel to the fire.

With a non-round anniversary to celebrate and the shadow of the coronavirus, which has sunk the fragile North Korean economy and threatens another famine, it was better to hold a low-profile parade, at least by the bombastic standards of this regime. Abandoning the bellicose tone of other times, there was no ostentatious display of weaponry and the parade was led, for the most part, by the Red Guards Workers and Peasants, a civil defense organization that mobilizes almost six million people, almost a quarter of the population.

In addition to lasting less than usual, it seems that only an hour, the parade also did not have the already traditional harangues of Kim Jong-un. Although the young dictator was present in the box of the Pyongyang Library, which presides over the huge Kim Il-sung square, the speech was given Ri Il-hwan, the head of propaganda. “The Government of the Republic will firmly defend the dignity and fundamental interests of our people, and will solve everything in our own way and with our own efforts on the principle of autarky and self-development under any circumstances,” Ri proclaimed, as reported North Korean state agency KCNA.

Although hermetic North Korea is always difficult to predict, Kim Jong-un seems lower the tension with this military parade on a small scale and without showing off their military “toys.” He did the same thing the last time he commemorated the founding of the country, in 2018 for the 70th anniversary, when he also did not show his ICMs because only three months he had met with Donald Trump at his first summit in Singapore. As then, this new gesture may reopen the stalled dialogue between the US and North Korea.

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