North Korea likes military parades, but preparing for one is hell, a defector revealed recently.
“I shiver when I imagine what the conditions are like for the soldiers” right now, said Kim Jong Ah, who has personally participated in preparation for a North Korean military parade, told the Daily NK.
North Korea held a massive military parade Thursday, marching thousands of troops, as well as dozens of tanks and ballistic missiles, through Kim Il Sung Square in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
Thursday’s parade was reportedly the first to be held in the middle of winter, and the high on the day of the event was a brisk two degrees Fahrenheit. Training for the parade has been underway for weeks in extreme temperatures.
The “parade will be the first time in North Korea’s history that it has conducted a military parade in the winter. I imagine that the KPA soldiers are now at the Mirim Airfield practicing for the performance and suffering in the cold,” Kim revealed. Indeed, prior to Thursday’s event, thousands of troops were seen at the airfield running through parade formations in the freezing cold.
Even when soldiers prepare for the parade in April, “it is so cold that moving the military weaponry is a difficult task. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to make those preparations right now,” Kim told the Daily NK reporters.
Kim introduced that the conditions at the training facilities are often “inadequate,” explaining many military men are forced to drop out due to health problems. Kim once passed out after going without proper food for three months and was unable to participate in the parade that year.
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The training is particularly brutal. “We were waking up at 8 am and staying up until 10 pm at night doing the training. Participating in these drills for over 12 hours is grueling,” he said. “We had to wear our belts tightened up as well, and we all ended up with stomach pains. The repetitive drills are mind-numbingly boring, and the movements tend to chafe the pelvic area, so some soldiers pee blood.”
“The officers beat us with a cane in the arm and the head” when soldiers made a mistake, Kim added.
North Korea’s military parade went off flawlessly Thursday, but the cost of that perfect parade may have been particularly high if soldiers went through the terrible hardships described by Kim.
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