Why North Korea’s Military Parade was Timed to Coincide with the Winter Olympics

Below is an excerpt from ROK Drop favorite B.R. Myers who takes on Kim regime apologizers in regards to their recent military parade right before the start of the Olympic Games:

We have also been hearing that the parade of February 8 has nothing to do with the Olympics because a) the restoration of this day for commemorating the KPA’s founding took place in 2015, after a 37-year interval, and b) 2018 marks a “round” year in special need of a big splash. The obvious retort is to ask why the Kim Jong Il regime, for all its militarism, saw no reason to restore the holiday in time for the much “rounder” anniversary in 1998. Besides, in 2015 everyone already knew when and where the 2018 Winter Olympics would take place.

In line with an older tradition of South Korean apologism is the effort of the Unification Minister and other Pyongyang watchers to argue that the parade is no cause for alarm because these displays of resolve and might are merely for “domestic propaganda use,” for “unifying the North Korean people,” or for “maintaining the system.”

This recalls the wishful approach to propaganda with which many foreigners and even German Jews deceived themselves in the first years of the Third Reich. “Anti-Semitism,” they argued, “is too central to the legitimacy and popularity of Nazism for the regime not to profess it constantly in the strongest terms. Were Hitler to give the Judenhetze a rest even for a month or two, the public backlash would be swift and harsh. Yet we aren’t to worry too much, because he can’t possibly intend to act on that nonsense.”

If anything, the South Korean variant is even more irrational. After all, what the Nazis were planning was without precedent, whereas that same North Korean military whose founding is to be celebrated on February 8 once came very close to destroying the Republic of Korea.  [B.R. Myers]

You can read the rest at the link, but it is pretty convincing that this parade was organized specifically as a response to the Winter Olympics being hosted in South Korea since it wasn’t celebrated as a holiday until 2015.  The regime knew when the Winter Olympics were going to occur and this holiday fit nicely with the timeline.  If Park Geun-hye was still president I am sure the parade and rhetoric would have been more threatening to an external audience, however with President Moon in power they toned it down by North Korean standards.

Myers in his article goes on to explain how the regime must continue with bellicose rhetoric and threats domestically especially during a charm offensive like they are doing now with the Olympics.  The rhetoric and threats like this parade are used to remind North Koreans that final victory will only come through military strength that will defeat the evil American imperialists and their ROK lackeys.

It is this mentality which after the Olympics is over I suspect at some point the Kim regime will return to provocative behavior.  However, instead of blaming the ROK government they will likely try to blame the US in an effort to inflame anti-Americanism in South Korea.  The narrative will likely be that the Kim regime has tried to be peaceful and work towards unification during the Winter Olympics timeframe, but the evil American Imperialists continue with their aggressive behavior.  This will justify them conducting more nuclear and missile tests.

The earliest flashpoint to promote this narrative will be the Key Resolve military exercise coming up reportedly a month after the Winter Olympics are over.  This is assuming the exercise happens with reports that it may be cancelled.  Either way the Kim regime wins because both scenarios advance their effort to separate the ROK from the US.