North Korea celebrated the 48 anniversary of its founding with great panache.
Viewing the display of military might, Kim Jong il and his ‘heir apparent’ and third son Kim Jong un reviewed, on Kim Il sung square in Pyongyang, wave after wave of Worker Peasant Red Guards and the DPRK armed forces stream by.
On display were, among other weapons, howitzers, anti aircraft gun, tanks, and a variety of multiple launch rocket systems, for which North Korea has developed to a state of the art level, with a current of jets flying overhead.
The display of armed forces and worker peasant guard reserves is a rebuke to the DPRK’s critics who for the past 20 years have been reading the signs of the regime’s collapse.
The parade also served as a reminder that North Korea and its people will defend their motherland against outside aggression.
The aged senior military staff remember clearly the wrack and ruin US planes visited on the country during the Korean war 60 years ago. Photos of a flatten North Korea taken during the US UN led forces rushing to the Yalu where they were ‘rolled back’ to the 38 parallel remain forever seared in the memory of North Korea. And a strong army, for them, is a ‘sine qua non’ to resist aggression that would bring the North back to the ‘year zero’.
Hostile joint US ROK manoeuvres along the Northern Limit Line had sparked the first exchange of fire between South and North since the war which remains in limbo awaiting a peace treaty, in November 2010.
That incident is a cause to remember that the government of Lee Myung bak in Seoul and the Obama administration in Washington do not wish North Korea well.
Lest we forget, the DPRK’s army and people’s brigades have a powerful back up: North Korea’s nuclear programme which has not stopped the South and the US from military adventurism and raise the ante of war in a divided Korean peninsula.