North Korea is today marking its national founding day across the hermit state with a number of huge parades, fireworks displays and commemorations in honour of the country’s Kim dynasty.
Experts fear North Korea could launch an attack or provocative missile test sometime today in a symbolic show of force against South Korea, Japan, America – and even against Kim’s historic allies China and Russia, who are wavering in their support.
The ‘Day of the Foundation of the Republic’ is marked annually in North Korea where it is one of the most important festivals in the rogue state’s calendar – as well as a regular opportunity for major tests.
Colourful displays are held in the capital of Pyongyang and in other smaller cities, towns and villages throughout the country, while children are admitted into the indoctrinating Young Pioneer Corps.
And experts believe the celebration could also be the perfect time for yet anther provocative nuclear test, following a series of tests this year.
Harry Kazianis of the Centre for the National Interest think tank warned September 9 could be a perfect opportunity for Kim to once again rattle his sabre with an intercontinental ballistic missile [ICBM] test, adding another nuclear test is not far off.
He said: “I think another ICBM test to be honest with you could come on September 9. The North Koreans love to put on a big show for their big national holiday.
“They’re going to want to get the most attention they can.”
He said he was shocked North Korea held a huge nuclear test earlier this month as he believed Kim was going to wait until the national holiday for such a provocative stunt.
Mr Kazianis said: “I wasn’t shocked that this test happened, I was more shocked about the date. I was actually making it September 9 as the date they would test a sixth nuclear weapon.”
He warned the world to prepare for more dangerous actions from North Korea, who carried out their fifth nuclear weapons test on September 9 last year.
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He said: “The North Koreans are going to continue testing nuclear weapons. They’re going to continue testing ICBMs.
“This is what countries who are building nuclear weapons programmes do. It’s what the Soviet Union did. It’s what the US did.”
He said the next ICBM test could happen in the next few days and the next nuclear test “in a few months”.
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Mr Kazianis added: “Another nuclear test is inevitable.”
Rumours of an imminent test have grown this week after it was revealed North Korea have been moving missiles to launch sites on its western coast.
Military equipment has been moved to near Pyongyang under the cover of darkness in order ot avoid detection, observers have revealed.