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North Korea's show of strength before Olympics.

NORTH Korea has held a military parade in Kim Il Sung Square, just one day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

Kim Jong Un was shown walking on a red carpet with his wife at the beginning of the event, which North Korea's state-run television broadcast hours after it was over.

It began with thousands of goosestepping troops lined up in Kim Il Sung Square to form words and slogans. Virtually all foreign media were excluded from the event.

In a televised speech, Kim said the parade marked North Korea's emergence as a "global military power" despite facing the "worst sanctions".

He called for his military to maintain a high level of combat readiness against the US and its "followers" so that the "invasive forces cannot infringe upon or harass the republic's sacred dignity and autonomy even by 0.001 millimetres".

Kim did not make any comments about the Olympics in the parts of his speech that were broadcast.

It was unclear whether the North showed the entirety of his speech during the recorded coverage of the parade that seemed heavily edited.

Kim has gone out of his way to make sure the North will hold attention throughout the Games.

Following a last-minute proposal during Kim's annual new year's address, North Korea is sending 22 athletes to compete and a delegation of more than 400 musicians, singers, martial artists and members of a cheering group to the Games.

In what is seen as a major development, Kim is also dispatching his younger sister Kim Yo Jong - one of his closest confidants - to attend the opening ceremony.

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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 9, 2018
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