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US closely watching N. Korea for upcoming military parade: State Dept.

Feb. 7, 2023 - 10:53 By Yonhap

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center), accompanied by Jang Chang-ha (left), chief of the North`s Academy of National Defense, and Kim Jong-sik, the deputy director of the Munitions Industry Department, visits Pyongyang International Airport on Thursday to inspect the launch of a Hwasong-17 ICBM. (KCNA-Yonhap)

WASHINGTON-- The United States is closely watching North Korea and its widely anticipated military parade, a state department spokesperson said Monday, while also highlighting US commitment to the security of South Korea.

The department spokesperson, Ned Price, noted the military parades are have more "propaganda value" than any material value to North Korea.

"These are always exercises that we watch," Price told a daily press briefing.

Pyongyang was earlier reported to be preparing for a massive military parade to be held this week, which will mark the 75th anniversary of the foundation of its armed forces.

The North has a history of using military parades to mark crucial national anniversaries, while showcasing its latest weapons systems to underscore its military presence in the region.

"I think it is almost certainly the case that these have more messaging and propaganda value than any material value to the DPRK," said Price, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"We are, of course, going to be watching as we always do, but more so, we are investing in our alliances and our partnerships in the region and well beyond," he added.

The department spokesperson also stressed US commitment to the security of South Korea and Japan, while calling North Korea one of the most serious challenges facing the US and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region.

He said State Secretary Antony Blinken and his South Korean counterpart, Park Jin, had a wide ranging discussion on challenges and opportunities facing their countries in the region when they met here last week.

"At the top of that list of challenges is the DPRK," said Price.

"It is why we are committed, on an ironclad basis, to the security of our ROK allies, to the security of our Japanese allies ... not just in the context of the DPRK and its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program, but across the range of challenges and opportunities that our three countries, that our alliance faces," he added.

ROK stands for the Republic of Korea, South Korea's official name. (Yonhap)