Wednesday, October 13, 2021
On Monday, on the 76th anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea’s founding, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inaugurated a new weapons exhibition in the Three-Revolutions Exhibition House, Pyongyang. Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported the event next day. According to Chinese travel agency Young Pioneer Tours, North Korea closed its border to tourists in January 2020.
The outside ceremony started when Kim Jong Un arrived. Attendees, mainly Korean People’s Army (KPA) officers, party officials and invited defence industry personnel, greeted Kim with “Manse!” (Long Live!). High-ranking party officials Choe Ryong Hae, Jo Yong Won and Hyon Song Wol, premier Kim Tok Hun, Marshal Pak Jong Chon and Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong were also there.
A musical performance by the KPA military band and the Orchestra of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) came before a KPA martial arts demonstration, in it brick breaking with bare fists, bending steel bars with the sternum and jumping over cars. A flypast closed the outdoor sequence, rendering the colours of the North Korean flag with smoke on the sky.
Kim Jong Un’s opening speech indoors remarked that “the US tacit sponsorship [of South Korea] continue to damage the inter-Korean feelings and emotions” and that “South Korea has been unhesitant on several occasions in disclosing its ambition for securing military supremacy over us under the preposterous excuse of deterring threat from us”, but called their military build-up a war deterrence effort. He also called on people to support to the defence capabilities of the country, and dedicated the event to analyze their recent achievements in the field.
An award ceremony for servicepersons and others followed with high decorations handed over, including the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Orders, the Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il Prizes, the title of Labour Hero, the Order of the National Flag and watches signed with the names of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
After touring the exhibition, Kim Jong Un met with the jet pilots who performed earlier, then left in a limousine.
The exhibition featured missiles, including editions 14, 15 and 16 of the Hwasong intercontinental ballistic missile series.
In reaction on Tuesday, Moon Hong-sik, a spokesperson for South Korea’s Ministry of Defence said that both the United States and South Korea are analyzing the displayed equipment.