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North Korea ICBMs on Full Display at Military Parade Ahead of Winter Olympics 


More than 50,000 North Koreans, including 13,000 troops, took part in a massive military parade Thursday. The event marks the 70th anniversary of the North's armed forces and comes just one day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics. 

The Kim Jong Un regime proudly displayed many of its weapons of war – including two different versions of its intercontinental ballistic missiles, both believed to be capable of reaching the United States. 

Video released by state media showed Kim and his generals watching the parade from seats above the procession route.

This comes as teams from both North and South Korea are due to march together under a "unification flag" at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Games on Friday.

Speaking at the event, Kim said the military parade showcased "the status of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which has developed into a world-class military power."

Also present were Kim Jong-gak, a vice chief of the Ministry of the People's Armed Forces, who was rumored to have been purged in 2012. South Korea's National Intelligence Service believed Kim was appointed the new chief of the military's General Political Bureau. 

A South Korean military official said that the military parade took place on a scale smaller than the largest-ever military parade held last year, which showcased ICBMs and the submarine-based ballistic missile Pukguksong-1 for the first time. 

"Compared to last year's military parade, the scope and content of the event seems to have shrunk," said the official, requesting anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. "It was also shorter than the event last year."

North Korea's state media had remained mum on the parade until it broadcast recorded images of the event on Thursday afternoon.

International media were not allowed to cover the parade, while only a handful of diplomats were invited to the event. 

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