And North Korea expert Martyn Williams said despite rumours to the contrary, Kim remains in good health – albeit “incredibly overweight“. An analysis published on the 38 North website yesterday and written by California-based journalist Mr Williams and colleague Peter Markowsky suggested preparations are already in full swing for the event, being staged to mark the 75th anniversary of the Communist Party of Korea.
However, satellite imagery also showed large numbers of assembled materiel, including multiple-rocket launcher vehicles, suggesting an ulterior motive was to emphasise the Hermit State’s military strength.
Mr Williams told Express.co.uk: “As for a new weapon, of course, it’s possible something appears and equally possible it doesn’t.
“We haven’t seen anything through satellite imagery that would confirm that one way or the other.”
Following rumours which swept the world in April suggesting Kim was either dead or incapacitated, the October 10 anniversary represents a good opportunity for the Supreme Leader to show he remains in full control.
However, Mr Williams told Express.co.uk he did not think this would be the 36-year-old’s be the primary motivation.
He explained: “Rather than his health, I think the prime driver behind the size of this parade is domestic propaganda: the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea.
With reference to Kim’s well-being, Mr Williams said: “In terms of Kim’s health, he’s already done a bunch of visits around the country to see typhoon damage.
“I think that all showed him in as good health as someone who is incredibly overweight can be.”
The 38 North analysis said: “North Korea does not publicly confirm its military parades in advance, but the preparations can usually be seen via satellite imagery two to six months prior.
“The recent training strongly suggests a large military parade is planned for the 75th anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea on October 10.
“In the centre road of the mock parade route around the replica of Kim Il-sung Square, a line of large vehicles appears to be exiting the square.
“Among them is a group of nine longer vehicles, three abreast, that are likely multiple-rocket launcher vehicles.
“Just ahead of those are 10 smaller military vehicles, also three abreast and one standalone, and farther ahead is a group of eight or more (the trees block some from view) slightly smaller military vehicles or trucks.”
The analysis adds: “At Kim Il-sung Square, people can be seen practising for the parade.
“On parade day, thousands will pack the square to wave and hold banners as military vehicles pass the newly refurbished viewing stand.”