SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — For months, North Korea has been relatively uncombative, as leader Kim Jong Un grapples with the coronavirus pandemic, natural disasters and the deepening economic pain under years of tough U.S.-led sanctions.
But ahead of the 75th founding anniversary of his ruling party this weekend, speculation has risen that Kim may hold a massive military parade and unveil newly developed, powerful missiles. The goal, experts say, would be to bolster internal unity and draw U.S. attention amid deadlocked nuclear diplomacy between the countries.
“His people are considerably wearied and his economy is in trouble … so Kim Jong Un would want to mobilize his people and stress a self-reliant policy to quell their complaints and draw their loyalty,” Nam Sung-wook, a professor at Korea University in South Korea. “To do so, he would need new weapons, powerful weapons that would send a message to the entire