North Korea appears to have staged a night-time military parade of a type it has used in the past to unveil new military hardware including large ballistic missiles, South Korean and other media focused on the country reported on Thursday.
South Koreaâ€™s Yonhap news agency said the parade appeared to have taken place in Pyongyang on Thursday, while the specialist NK News online publication quoted multiple sources as saying a parade had been due to start at midnight. September 9 is North Koreaâ€™s national day.
NK News said citizens were seen late in the evening preparing for the parade near Pyongyangâ€™s Kim Il Sung Square. It said roads were closed and no regular vehicles seen.
It said sources reported fireworks in downtown Pyongyang at midnight and again around 1 a.m. on Thursday, suggesting the event took place during that time.
Yonhap quoted an unnamed military source as saying: â€œThere have been signs that the North carried out a military parade in Pyongyang after midnight. The (South Korean) military is analysing those signs.â€
Last week, NK News and 38 North, another organisation that tracks events in secretive North Korea, said troops had been spotted in commercial satellite imagery preparing for a likely military parade.
Last October, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un unveiled previously unseen intercontinental ballistic missiles in a predawn military parade that showcased the countryâ€™s long-range weapons for the first time in two years.
Another night-time military parade was held in January.
Talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile arsenals have stalled in recent years. US President Joe Bidenâ€™s administration has said it will explore diplomacy to achieve North Korean denuclearisation, but has shown no willingness to meet North Korean demands for an easing of sanctions.