North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended a massive civilian parade in the capital, Pyongyang, celebrating a milestone birth anniversary of his state-founding grandfather in which thousands marched in a choreographed display of loyalty to the Kim family, state media said Saturday.
State media images showed Kim waving from a balcony looking over Kim Il Sung Square, which is named after his grandfather, as huge columns of people carrying red plastic flowers and floats with political slogans marched below.
Ri Il Hwan, a member of the ruling Workers' Party's Politburo, issued a call for loyalty during a speech, saying that North Koreans will "always emerge victorious" under Kim's guidance.
It appeared Kim didn't deliver a speech during Friday's event and state media didn't mention any comments toward the United States or South Korea.
It also seemed that the country passed its biggest holiday without showcasing its military hardware, amid heightened tensions over its nuclear programme.
Commercial satellite images in recent weeks have indicated preparations for a large military parade in Pyongyang, which could take place on the April 25 founding anniversary of North Korea’s army and display the most advanced weapons in Kim’s nuclear arsenal, such as intercontinental ballistic missiles.
There’s also expectation that Pyongyang will further escalate its weapons testing in the coming weeks or months, possibly including a resumption of nuclear explosive tests or test-flying missiles over Japan, as it attempts to force a response from the Biden administration while it's preoccupied with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a rivalry with China.