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N. Korea prepares military parade for armistice anniversary

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

By Kim Eun-jung

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- North Korea has been mobilizing its military equipment and personnel for a massive parade to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War later this month, which is celebrated as "Victory Day" in the communist state, a South Korean military source said Friday.

Recent satellite imagery revealed that more than 10,000 North Korean soldiers were practicing for the military parade at Mirim Airport near Pyongyang, which is believed to be in preparation for the July 27 anniversary, the source said, requesting anonymity as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

"Satellite imagery showed Scud, Nodong and Musudan missiles installed on mobile launchers," the source said, referring to the North's short-, medium- and long-range ballistic missiles. "Considering the fact that nearly all ground force equipment was present, there is a possibility that its long-range KN-08 missiles could appear at the end of the parade."

Pyongyang designated July 27 as the "Day of Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War" to praise founder Kim Il-sung's achievements in the three-year conflict and has considered it as one of its 10 national holidays. South Korea marks the day to commemorate the signing of the armistice agreement that ended the hostilities in the war.

In February, the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of (North) Korea unveiled its plan to hold a military parade, mass rally and fireworks show for the 60th anniversary this year.

Military officials in Seoul have been paying great attention to whether the communist regime would disclose its newest missiles, which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, in the parade.

During the military parade last year to celebrate its founder Kim's 100th birth anniversary, Pyongyang presented some 880 pieces of its military equipment and for the first time revealed its KN-08 missiles to the international community.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130711/n-korea-prepares-military-parade-armistice-anniversary