World on alert: Kim Jong-un considers TERRIFYING surprise on huge North Korea anniversary

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The Hermit State is gearing up for celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the Communist Party of Korea – an important day in the secretive nation’s calendar. Professor Jim Hoare, of London’s School of Oriental and Asian Studies, told Express.co.uk the occasion presented the Supreme Leader with an ideal opportunity to roll out new weaponry.

He said: “In the DPRK, anniversaries marking 5 or 10 years are regarded as particular important, so this year’s parade may be a bit more of an occasion than usual.

“Such occasions have been used in the past to show off new weapons (or at least mock-ups of new weapons – one is never sure).

“Because it has happened in the past, many commentators speculate at it will happen again – sometimes they are right, sometimes not.

“There may be what seem to be clues but there is probably no way of being sure until the day itself that something new might be on display.”

Prof Hoare explained: “This probably ranks as the third most important national holiday in the DPRK, after the birthdays of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il – it is probably deemed as more important than the National Foundation Day, which marks the establishment of the country in 1948.

“The party anniversary marks the day in autumn 1945 where a meeting established the Northern Bureau of the Communist Party of Korea, which eventually became the Korean Workers’ Party, the DPRK ruling party.

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“The party, in theory at least, is more important than both the state and the military – but as they are all intertwined both in terms of organisation and personnel.”

Prof Hoare added: “It is always marked with much jollity but also with much pomp. People visit statues of the leaders and monuments, especially the party foundation monument – to pay their respects and to lay flowers.

“There is usually some form of military parade but people also gather in parks (at least in the cities) where they picnic, dance and sing.

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“As the day progresses, much alcohol is consumed.

“It may be a bit more subdued this year because of COVID and the recent monsoon damage.

“There will certainly be no foreigners around since the borders are still closed.

“But even during the famine years of the 1990s, the show went on and I would think this year will be no exception.”

With the US election on November 3, the parade is also an opportunity for Kim to send a message to Washington.

A high-profile event, with Kim in attendance, would also counter claims about his health following rumours of his death earlier this year.

After he disappeared from the public eye in April, it was suggested he was either dead, or in a persistent vegetative state as a result of bungled heart surgery.

His sister, Kim Yo-jong, has also been talked up as a possible successor.

Footage of Kim opening a fertiliser factory in May seemed to scotch the rumours – although sceptics pointed out it was impossible to date the clip.

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