North Korea celebrations may include satellite launch
PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA— China just put on a big military parade, a few months after Russia did the same. But there’s no country more adept at putting on elaborate, massive displays of state power than North Korea, the undisputed goose-stepping capital of the world, and next month, Pyongyang will stage what is likely to be its biggest celebration in years.
North Korea is already in high gear as it prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of its ruling party.
The government has been typically mum on its plans, though a military parade and appearance by leader Kim Jong Un would seem to be pretty safe bets.
Senior officials speaking in interviews with the North’s state-run media over the past few days have dropped hints that the real fireworks might not happen in Pyongyang at all. On Monday, the head of North Korea’s space agency said the country has the right to launch rockets any time it sees fit and suggested Pyongyang is preparing to put its second satellite into orbit. The North claims its rockets are meant for scientific purposes. Washington, Seoul and their allies believe they are used for testing long-range-missile technology, which it is banned from doing under UN sanctions.