North Korea is planning a party. Next month, the reclusive country will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. And there are signs that the event, which will take place Sept. 9, will be a celebration to watch.
Those observing the preparations for the event have spotted practice for a military parade, while tourist visas to the country have apparently been blocked — sparking speculation about who, exactly, the VIP guests could be. According to one report, a close eye is being kept on the finest details: Ruling-party youth groups have been sent around the country to keep tabs on taboo haircuts, Radio Free Asia reports.
The North Korean state cherishes anniversaries, using them to reinforce the tale of how their small, embattled state fought off bigger foes such as imperial Japan and the United States. It often uses parades on these days to send a message to these foreign rivals. For example, on the 105th anniversary of the birth of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, in April last year, North Korea used the day to show off a variety of new intercontinental missiles — an early hint of the technological advances testing would later confirm.