PYONGYANG, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday here celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of its armed forces, the Korean People's Army.
A military parade started before noon at the Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang, but state television did not broadcast it live as it did on similar occasions in the past.
Mass processions were expected to follow the parade through the square under the watch of leaders of the country from a rostrum on the northern side of the plaza.
DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un was expected to be present at the parade, the second within 10 months after a grand parade was held on April 25 last year and broadcast live in front of the world.
It is not known yet whether the DPRK's latest model of ballistic missile, Hwasong-15, was on display this time.
The Hwasong-15, which Pyongyang claimed was an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. mainland, was tested in November last year.
All the roads and thoroughfares leading to central Pyongyang have been sealed off since Wednesday afternoon.
The parade was held one day ahead of the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea and is considered greatly symbolic as it shows the national defense strength of the country.
This is also the first time for the DPRK to celebrate its army day on Feb. 8 instead of April 25, to highlight that Kim Il Sung, the founder of the DPRK, developed the Korean People's Revolutionary Army into regular revolutionary armed forces on Feb. 8, 1948.
The DPRK and South Korea are cooperating to make sure the PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be a success.