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N. Korea moves up military parade

April 3, 2012 at 8:51 PM   |   Comments

PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 3 (UPI) -- North Korea will mix in displays of military might and artistic pageantry when it launches a long-range missile, new agencies in Japan and South Korea say.

Japan's Kyodo News reported Wednesday diplomatic sources said the North will move up a massive military parade by 10 days, staging it April 15 -- which apparently would coincide with the satellite rocket launch Pyongyang has announced will take place that week.

The sources said the move could result in diplomats and defense attaches from Europe and other regions skipping the parade so their presence couldn't be used as a sign of support for the rocket launch, Kyodo said.

Pyongyang hasn't said why the parade date was switched, the news agency said.

Yonhap said a pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan reported an international art festival will be held in Pyongyang April 11-19. The event is to commemorate the centennial of the birth of North Korea's late founder Kim Il-sung.

When asked in Washington Tuesday about reports that North Korea might be working on even more powerful rockets, Victoria Nuland, spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, reiterated to reporters that "any kind of missile launch of any kind [by the North] is of great concern and would be a violation, in our view, of U.N. Security Council resolutions."

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