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S. Korea to hold massive military parade for 1st time in decade

By Lee Jaeeun

Published : Sept. 13, 2023 - 14:12

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Citizens watch the celebratory flight of the Air Force's special flight team, the Black Eagles, at a cultural experience event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Armed Forces Day held at Seoul Battleship Park in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Sept. 6. (Newsis) Citizens watch the celebratory flight of the Air Force's special flight team, the Black Eagles, at a cultural experience event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Armed Forces Day held at Seoul Battleship Park in Mapo-gu, Seoul, Sept. 6. (Newsis)

South Korea will hold a large-scale military parade for the first time in 10 years to showcase its strategic weapons as part of an Armed Forces Day event later this month, the Ministry of Defense said Wednesday.

The 75th Armed Forces Day falls on Oct. 1, which is a day to commemorate the service of the country's former and current troops. This year, the government's official ceremony will be held on Sept. 26 ahead of the Chuseok holiday, which runs for six days from Sept. 28.

The ceremony is set to kick off at the Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, to show off South Korea’s new homegrown weapons, including KF-21 fighter jets, Light Armed Helicopters and long-range surface-to-air missiles.

The event will move to Gwanghwamun in central Seoul for a large-scale military parade in the afternoon. During the parade, the Air Force's Black Eagles aerobatic team and Apache attack helicopters will stage flights over the troops.

While South Korea has typically held a military parade every five years to mark Armed Forces Day in a show of firepower against North Korea, the parade was last staged in 2013 during the conservative former Park Geun-hye government. The event did not take place under the liberal former Moon Jae-in administration, which pushed for inter-Korean reconciliation.

This year's event will proceed under the theme of "a strong military, strong security and peace through strength" to demonstrate the military's resolve to defend the country, focusing on sending a message to North Korea amid increasing provocations, an official said.