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North Korea to hold military parade ahead of Winter Olympics. [ www.wap30.blogspot.com ]

Korean People's howitzers being displayed through Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade in PyongyangMilitary parades in previous years have involved the show of armoured vehicles
North Korea is set to hold its 70th anniversary military parade, a day ahead of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
The annual parade, marking the founding of its army, is usually held in April but was moved to 8 February this year.
Ahead of the parade, Korean Central Television is showing video archive of previous leaders, the local landscape and propaganda films.
It is not clear what time the parade will begin.
North Korea had earlier dismissed criticism of its plans to hold the parade a day before the Olympics, saying no-one had the right to take issue.
"It is a custom and very basic common sense that any country in the world takes the founding of its military very seriously and celebrates it with extravagant events," said the ruling Workers' Party newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun.
The US has said it would rather the parade not take place as the focus should be on the Games.
On Thursday, North Korea said it has no intention of meeting US officials during the Games, according to the North's official KCNA news agency.



Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption It is not uncommon for Pyongyang to hold mass military parades
South Korean government officials had said last month that some 13,000 troops and 200 pieces of equipment had been spotted near an airport in Pyongyang in what appeared to be a rehearsal for the parade.
Experts say North Korea is expected to showcase its long-range missiles.
"What we should look out for during the parade is North Korea's showcase of its missile vehicles, how many of them there are, and if they are carrying any new missile designs," said David Schmerler, a North Korea analyst at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.
"However, we also need to remember that just because they showcase something doesn't mean they are working on it. In the past, North Korea has paraded missiles that have never come to production."



"In 2012, Pyongyang showcased its Hwasong-13, which was never tested and as far as we know, has been totally abandoned."



Graphic: North Korean Missiles

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