North Korean military parades are one of the most sought after tourist “attractions” in the DPRK. When a North Korean military parade takes place in Pyongyang, without a doubt the event will be in every international newspaper and TV report around the world. Kim Jong Un comes out to greet the city and gives a political update, and the Korean People’s Army proceed to show off their military hardware with a unique retro-Soviet sort of fashion that very few countries these days still do.
However, the most common misconception about North Korea is that there’s a North Korean military parade for every time there’s a national holiday, which would be exhausting since North Korea has over 30 different holidays each year. Did you know that military parades in North Korea aren’t as common as one would think? They take place on every fifth anniversary for major national holidays and, from our experience, we’ve counted less than five events of the year that are considered large enough for North Korea to throw a big military parade party.
How can I watch North Korean Military Parades?
If watching a military parade in North Korea is high on your list well then, you’re in luck! Whenever there’s a parade taking place, you can count on us to get you right in front of the crowds. So close you can feel the ground rumble underneath you as tanks and ICBMs roll by.
Military parades are usually held for Korean People’s Army Foundation Day (8th February), Kim Jong Il’s Birthday (16th February), Kim Il Sung’s Birthday (15th April), the founding of the Korean People’s Army (25th April), Victory Day (27th July), Liberation Day (15th August), National Day (9th September), and Party Foundation Day (10th October).
What can I expect to actually see during North Korean military parades?
Military parades take place in Kim Il Sung Square which will involve tens of thousands of soldiers, tanks, artillery, and jets. At Young Pioneer Tours we receive regular updates from our local intel so we are given the most reliable heads-up on military events to secure the best possible positions to watch, and take photos or videos of the parade.
A very special mass dance ceremony are also usually scheduled where over 10,000 university students perform a synchronised dance to North Korean music. Another great event for photos, and an even better opportunity to jump in and learn some North Korean dance moves.
The Mass Games which involve over 100,000 performers in the world’s largest stadium are usually confirmed alongside military parades.
When is the next of the North Korean military parades?
North Korean Military Parades in 2023
We’re expecting the largest military parade in the DPRK’s existence to take place in Pyongyang for the 70th Anniversary of Victory Day held on the 27th of July, 2023. We’re already hearing early rumours this will be absolutely massive, but it really is too early to say if they will be open.
Remember when it comes to North Korean military parades, they will take place regardless of if the tourists are there to watch them!