Without doubt, the most lavish parade that’s held in Pyongyang would often be during the Founding Day of the Korean Worker’s Party every 10th of October. These extra grand parades are held every 5 years interval, so this year (2020) being the 75th year would mean this parade will hold great significance. The next big one will be in 2025 for their 80th year anniversary.
What to expect
The parade is an integral part of the celebrations and also a great opportunity to show off the strength of the Armed Forces of the DPRK (Previously called the “Korean Peoples’ Army”), and any new updates to their military hardware. As usual, international news media will be pixel peeping at all the official state released photos, trying to ascertain North Korea’s latest military hardware development. Here are some photos from the 2018 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the DPRK. It’s a different event altogether but these photos will help give you an idea what to expect.
What It’s Really About
International news often portrays such events as North Korea’s aggressive posturing to threaten it’s enemies through the display of military might. Almost always, the media will repeatedly focus on the military march-past and the heavy weapons.
In my opinion, such parades and celebrations are really about establishing continuity and affirming the sense of stability from an unbroken line of leadership. The military parade is at most, a display to show North Korea as impenetrable by enemy forces rather than a confrontational move.
There are other segments of such massive parades that generally get ignored by the press because they focus on their leaders’ achievements, the country’s developments and calls for reunification of the Korean peninsular. Though I do love checking out their military hardware, I really wish there was more media coverage of the colorful mobile floats and displays.
Many analysists and academics speak from their years of study about North Korean politics and I have no intention of contradicting them. What I share comes from my experiences with North Koreans at a very personal level.
The video is best viewed full-screen on YouTube so you can pause the video to read the texts.
My understanding is that the anniversary is a holiday season where North Koreans rally together to celebrate their country’s achievements under the guidance of their leaders.
Marshal Kim Jong Un’s family lineage is at the very core of North Korean culture, so rather than an outward propaganda event that international media so often describes it as, such anniversary celebrations serves more to solidify the glorious reign of the country’s leader among the local people.
If you want more material to understand the theme behind the celebrations and parade, download this PDF Pyongyang published to expound on the greatness of their leaders.
Here is a preview page extracted from the PDF
North Korea is currently experiencing the heaviest UN sanctions ever enforced, the closure of all borders and travel due to COVID-19, and a devastating typhoon that recently wrecked damage over many parts of the country. The 10th October celebrations will most certainly be a nationwide push for solidarity.
I look forward to seeing what will be presented during the 75th Founding of the Workers’ Party Anniversary Parade.
Workers’ Party Foundation Monument
This monument was completed on 10 October 1995, on the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party of Korea. Visit the link to see the 360 image: