N. Korea invites guests to celebrations of party congress, military parade possible

 Officials and other guests have been invited to “celebrations” arranged to mark the ongoing 8th Congress of the Workers Party of Korea (WPK), Pyongyang’s media reported on Tuesday.

The invitation to the celebrations raises the possibility that Pyongyang might be preparing to hold a military parade.

On Monday, Seoul’s military officials said signs were detected that the North had carried out a military parade in central Pyongyang on Sunday night in time for the eighth congress of the ruling Workers’ Party, which has been under way since its opening last week.

State media, however, have not reported on such an event yet, spawning speculation that it might have been a rehearsal and a military parade could take place in the days to come.

North Korea has usually broadcast live or aired recorded footage of military parades later.

“The Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) invited officials and persons of distinguished services, who had worked in the Party, the government and the military for a long time, as special guests to the celebrations of the 8th Congress of the WPK,” the Korean Central News Agency said.

The North last held a massive military parade in October to celebrate the 75th founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party, showing off its state-of-the-art weapons, including a new intercontinental ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Leader Kim Jong-un attended the event and delivered a speech.

In an earlier session of the party congress, Kim defined the U.S. as the North’s “foremost principal enemy” and vowed to bolster its nuclear arsenal. 

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