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North Korean Parade Tricky Prelude to Inter-Korean Summit

As North Korea prepares for a massive parade Sunday featuring thousands of goose-stepping soldiers and lots of scary-looking missiles, worry is rising in South Korea that a tentative, hard-won detente is starting to slip away. An authoritarian nation obsessed with big milestones, North Korea will use the celebration for the 70th anniversary of its national founding to glorify Kim Jong Un as a leader who’s standing up for a powerful nation surrounded by enemies. Kim will also welcome a delegate from his most important ally, senior Chinese official Li Zhanshu, the third-ranking official of the country’s ruling party and head of its rubberstamp parliament, whose presence at the parade would underscore Beijing’s important status in international efforts to solve the nuclear crisis. That’s a role South Korean President Moon Jae-in covets, and one of several reasons why the pressure will be intense when he travels to North Korea later this...

 

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