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South Korea to Stage First Army Parade in a Decade

South Korea on Tuesday will stage its first navy parade in a decade, showcasing its superior arsenal within the face of plummeting ties with nuclear-armed North Korea.

Pyongyang often places on enormous navy parades however such occasions in Seoul are historically solely organized each 5 years to mark South Korea’s Armed Forces Day.

The final parade was in 2013. 5 years later, then-president Moon Jae-in selected to carry a celebratory ceremony as a substitute of a navy occasion, according to his conciliatory method to North Korea.

Tuesday’s parade in Seoul will start round 4 pm (0700 GMT) and can contain round 6,700 troops and 340 items of navy tools, together with F-35 stealth fighters, the South Korean protection ministry stated.

The KF-21, South Korea’s first domestically produced fighter jet, in addition to next-generation helicopters and drones, can even be on show, it added.

Additional, round 200 South Korean and US personnel will exhibit “tactical drops in the identical method as an precise aerial infiltration,” the ministry stated.

President Yoon Suk Yeol, who was elected final 12 months, has pulled South Korea nearer to america and the longstanding allies have ramped up protection cooperation — together with large-scale drills — to counter rising threats from North Korea.

Round 300 US navy personnel will participate within the parade on Tuesday.

Throughout a separate ceremony to mark the seventy fifth Armed Forces Day at an air base south of Seoul on Tuesday, Yoon hailed the enlargement of US-South Korea protection ties.

“If North Korea makes use of nuclear weapons, its regime will likely be dropped at an finish by an amazing response from the ROK-US alliance,” he stated, repeating a warning the companions have issued previously.

‘Visually Provocative Gesture’

Regardless of worldwide sanctions, North Korea has carried out a sequence of weapons assessments this 12 months, together with the launch of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Pyongyang has held three navy parades this 12 months alone, exhibiting off a variety of kit together with its largest Hwasong-17 ICBMs.

The parade in Seoul “is a not-so-subtle and visually provocative gesture on the a part of the South Korean authorities of telling (North Korean chief) Kim Jong Un that Seoul is not going to be backing down or in search of methods to reconcile,” LMI Consulting’s Soo Kim, a former CIA analyst, instructed AFP.

South Korea is a serious weapons exporter however a longstanding home coverage prohibits it from promoting arms to nations in energetic battle — corresponding to Ukraine.

South Korea has thus resisted calls to produce weapons on to Kyiv, regardless of condemning the Russian invasion.

Nonetheless, any deal that sees North Korea promote arms to Russia to be used within the battle may power South Korea to assessment its place on Ukraine, specialists say.

Final 12 months, South Korea secured protection export offers price $17.3 billion, together with a $12.7 billion settlement with Poland — a NATO member and key Ukraine ally — for K9 Howitzers, K2 battle tanks, and extra.