NKorea to hold parade on eve of Olympics

North Korea is preparing to stage a military parade on the eve of the Winter Olympics (file).
North Korea is preparing to stage a military parade on the eve of the Winter Olympics (file).

North Korea is set to hold a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of its armed forces' foundation one day before the PyeongChang Winter Olympics' opening.

North Korea has recently designated February 8 as its armed forces' day, sparking concerns that the event may dampen a rare reconciliatory mood created by its participation in the February 9-25 Olympics in the South.

The North has used military parades on important national days to flex its military muscle by displaying newly developed weapons, including missiles.

A Seoul government source said the latest event is expected to mobilise about 50,000 people, including some 13,000 troops.

South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon earlier said that the North may hold a "threatening" military parade on the anniversary by mobilising sizable numbers of military personnel and almost all of its weapons.

The North has rebuffed such criticism, claiming that nobody has the right to take issue with its celebration of the military anniversary.

It comes as the White House said it was advancing US President Donald Trump's plans for a grand military parade through the streets of Washington.