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NKorea Prepares Grand Military Parade on Eve of Olympics

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North Korea is preparing a lavish display of its military strength in a parade on the eve of next month's Winter Olympics in the South, despite a rare sporting detente with Seoul, it was reported Thursday.

North Korea

Pyongyang has agreed to send athletes to the Games and march with the South under one flag at the opening ceremony.

But the North also vowed to press ahead with commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of its military, with the South's Yonhap news agency reporting that it is planning a major parade on February 8 -- a day before the Olympic opening ceremony.

Some 12,000 soldiers, artillery and other weapons will feature at the spectacle in an airfield near Pyongyang, Yonhap reported, quoting an unidentified South Korean government source.

"We believe the North will hold a military parade on February 8th to mark the anniversary of the birth of its regular forces", the source was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, a South Korean defense ministry spokesman said the ministry does not comment on "any matters of military intelligence".

While North Korea often holds military parades to mark a variety of anniversaries, the country varies the dates it marks from year to year.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team