Preparations are underway for further large-scale celebrations in North Korea to celebrate the Seventh Workers’ Party Congress, according to travel operators recently returned from the DPRK’s capital.
The celebrations will include a torch parade likely larger than the headline-grabbing event which took place in October, commemorating the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the Workers’ Party.
“No mention of a military parade but the torch parade looks to be bigger than last year. It’s not just students this time, it’s everyone,” Rowan Beard from Young Pioneer Tours (YPT) told NK News.
“I’d have thought (it would be a big event), almost certainly not for tourists though,” Simon Cockerell, general manager of Koryo Tours added.
YPT also posted a video of the preparations on their Instagram account, which shows a cohort of marching and singing North Korean citizens.
North Korea has not yet released when the congress will be held, though South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) said the event would take place in the first week of May.
“My best bet would be (torch parade happens) the night before it all kicks off … The actual event will be a one-night gig,” Beard said.
The upcoming Seventh Party Congress is set to be held in May of this year and comes after a 36-year wait between the last Party Congress in 1980.
The 6th Party Congress was an event which provided a platform for Kim Jong Il to be announced as successor to his father and North Korea’s inaugural leader, Kim Il Sung.
The next Party Congress is widely expected to be used by Kim to further solidify his rule and his policies for the country, both new and existing.
The event is also getting heavy coverage in DPRK media the NK News KCNA Watch data tool shows. Mentions of the term “congress” began in October, and the word has been used 741 times so far this year in North Korea’s English media output.
In addition to the preparations, North Koreans are currently engaged in a 70-day labor campaign which the state-run newspaper called a “70-day battle.”
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 351 words of this article.
Featured Image: Life in Pyongyang, North Korea by jamgly on 2011-08-09 20:37:48