In a show of defiance against the United States and a display of deepening ties with Moscow and Beijing, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over a grand military parade on Thursday night, showcasing the country's most powerful nuclear-capable missiles. The parade, held to mark a major war anniversary, took place at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang and was attended by senior Russian and Chinese delegates.
Joining Kim Jong Un on a balcony overlooking the vibrant parade were Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese ruling party official Li Hongzhong. The display of solidarity between North Korea and its neighboring allies has come at a time when tensions on the Korean peninsula are at their highest point in years.
Edited footage from North Korean state TV revealed a massive crowd of tens of thousands of mobilized spectators, filling the streets and stands around the square. The enthusiastic crowd roared in approval as a procession of goose-stepping soldiers, tanks, and colossal intercontinental ballistic missiles rolled through the main road on launcher trucks.
According to state media reports, people from across the country were brought to Pyongyang to attend the parade, highlighting the significance and magnitude of the event.
The military parade commenced with a series of warm-up events featuring ceremonial flights of newly developed surveillance and attack drones. These drones were first unveiled by state media earlier in the week during an arms exhibition attended by Kim Jong Un and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
The main event commenced with Kim Jong Un arriving at the square in a limousine, escorted by a formation of motorcycles. He saluted honor guards and military officials before walking down a red carpet to enter a building where Shoigu and Li greeted him on the balcony. Below, troops chanted "protect Kim Jong Un with our lives!" as the parade unfolded.
During the procession, organizers broadcast messages in Russian, Chinese, and Korean while introducing Kim's guests to the crowd, drawing cheers and applause from the spectators.
Throughout the parade, Kim Jong Un engaged in constant communication with Sergei Shoigu and Li Hongzhong, exchanging smiles and raising their hands in salute to the parading troops. However, the broadcast did not show Kim making a speech.
The grand military parade is seen as a signal of North Korea's military might and its close ties with Russia and China. The display of nuclear-capable missiles further escalates tensions with the United States and the international community, raising concerns about regional security and stability.