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Kim Jong Un celebrated North Korea's army. Will he also display new weapons?

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter attend a feast to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army.
AP
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his daughter attend a feast to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army.

SEOUL — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over celebrations marking the establishment of the nation's army in 1948. Observers are watching to see if the North marks the occasion with a military parade, and a display of new weapons.

State media showed pictures of Kim at a banquet with medal-bedecked generals at a hotel in Pyongyang.

Also with him were his wife and young daughter Kim Ju Ae, in only her fourth reported public appearance.

Some observers interpret this as Kim's message that nuclear weapons will protect future generations of North Koreans. Kim praised the Korean People's Army, founded 75 years ago today, as the strongest in the world.

At a meeting on Monday, Kim called for more military exercises and combat readiness.

Some analysts are concerned that Kim's growing nuclear arsenal may embolden him to launch more military provocations against the U.S. and South Korea.

This originally appeared in NPR's Newscast.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Anthony Kuhn is NPR's correspondent based in Seoul, South Korea, reporting on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and the great diversity of Asia's countries and cultures. Before moving to Seoul in 2018, he traveled to the region to cover major stories including the North Korean nuclear crisis and the Fukushima earthquake and nuclear disaster.
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