North Korea parades soldiers wearing hazmat suits to commemorate founding day

North Korea held an annual parade to commemorate the 73rd founding day, however the state did not display any major ballistic missiles.

State media pictures showed night time parade military march of soldiers wearing hazmat suits. Fire trucks, tractors and fireworks were also on display.

The Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un was photographed without a mask among the crowd — he looked visibly slimmer, surrounded by children.


North Korea uses parades as means to send out a message to maintain domestic support and tell the international community what it is capable of, most importantly the United States who it is in loggerheads with.

Usually the North showcases new military hardware and ballistic missiles in such parades, however this one was different. The special red hazmat unit would suggest Pyongyang is keen to show its people that even as the country claims it has no cases of the virus, the constant battle against the spread of Covid-19 goes on.

The sanctioned nation has shut its borders to the outside world and yet to confirm a Covid-19 infection. According to the World Health Organization, North Korea has conducted more than 37,000 tests and all returned negative.

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to Mr Kim, state media reported.

China and North Korea share close economic ties. However, trade between these two countries plummeted since January 2020, from when North Korea shut its borders to keep Covid-19 out.

North Korea on several occasions declined Chinese and Russian made Covid-19 vaccines, saying they should be given diverted to countries where the situation was worse.

Mr Kim has acknowledged a major food shortage and blamed climate change for destroying farm produce.

Even with the Covid-19, food shortage and sanction crisis at hand, North Korea has not stopped it's nuclear programme. Recently, the world atomic agency revealed troubling satellite images from the state's nuclear facilities.