The night before the Olympics in South Korea, Kim Jong-un organized a gaudy showing of his might. However, it might not be what it seems. In fact, it might be less.
Kim Jong-un threw an extravagant North Korean military parade in Pyongyang’s Kim II Sung Square on the eve of the Winter Olympics, quasi-aggressively stealing the spotlight from South Korea. Tanks, armored vehicles, goose-stepping troops, and intercontinental ballistic missiles were on proud display for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean military.
Militaristic tension may seem to contest Kim’s recent diplomatic push towards South Korea – sending delegations of athletes and entertainers to the Pyeongchang games – however experts are convinced otherwise. “More than just a show,” here are the leading theories behind this ostentatious display of might:
Braving sub-zero temperatures, hordes of people filed into the capital’s city to witness Kim’s fiery rhetoric towards Washington, “[This parade] marks North Korea’s emergence as a global military power despite facing the worst sanctions.”
He called for the militia to maintain a high level of “combat readiness” against the United States and its “followers” to keep them from infringing upon “the republic’s sacred dignity and autonomy even by 0.001 millimeters.”
Others suggest that this typically belligerent and fierce public display of power was in fact deliberately muffled this year to maintain peace with South Korea. The evidence backing this conclusion lies in Kim’s decision not to broadcast the parade live and the deliberate exclusion of foreign media personnel.
Instead, it was recorded, edited, and featured on all major TV channels later in the day.
Others suggest that this typically belligerent and fierce public display of power was in fact deliberately muffled this year to maintain peace with South Korea.
Kim Jong-un caught everyone by surprise when he raised the prospect of sending 22 athletes to the South Korean Olympic games in his New Year’s speech. Kim then also made the executive decision to dispatch his younger sister to Seoul for a Saturday meeting with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in – the highest level of contact in years.
“We certainly hope to utilize this opportunity to the maximum so that the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games can become a venue that leads to dialogue for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as well as to establishing peace on the Korean peninsula,” Moon shared.
Lastly, the parade corresponds to Trump’s request for a “large-scale showcase of American might.”
Allegedly inspired by the Parisian Parade on July 14 last year, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has confirmed that the Defense Department is exploring options to enact these plans on the 4th of July.
“I think we’re all aware, in this country, of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” said Mattis. “We’ve been putting together some options. We’ll send them up to the White House for a decision.”
Hmm. Why do we have the distinct feeling that this is all just about the size of one’s upright trouser ordnance?