Hazmat Suits, No Nukes, and Slim Kim Jong-un: North Korea Holds Parade on 73rd Foundation Day

© REUTERS / KCNANorth Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum to mark the 68th anniversary of the Korean armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo supplied by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 27, 2021
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a ceremony at the Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum to mark the 68th anniversary of the Korean armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo supplied by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 27, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 09.09.2021
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The nation, which closed its borders at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, organised a major event with thousands upon thousands of Koreans gathering without face coverings, since official data says there has been no cases of COVID-19 in the country.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared in public overnight, as a major parade was held in Pyongyang to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the country's foundation - which is also the 10th anniversary of Kim Jong-un's rule.
A slim-looking Kim greeted a massive crowd of North Koreans - who were all unmasked - while the traditional march included civilian defence troops in hazmat suits and masks.
However, the North Korean leader did not deliver his traditional speech - this year, the address was made by a member of the Political Bureau Ri Il-hwan.

"The columns of emergency epidemic prevention and the Ministry of Public Health were full of patriotic enthusiasm to display the advantages of the socialist system all over the world, while firmly protecting the security of the country and its people from the worldwide pandemic", the state-run KCNA agency said.

The event also featured mechanised paramilitary units, rocket launchers and anti-tank weapons, mounted on tractors. According to KCNA, no ballistic missiles or any nuclear weapons were displayed at the parade.
North Korea's Day of the Foundation of the Republic is one of the most important holidays in the country. It commemorates 9 September 1948, when the nation proclaimed its independence - three years after the Liberation of Korea from Japan by Soviet and American forces.
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