septuagenarian and still totalitarian

North Korea’s Big Scary 70th Birthday Bash

North Korean tanks pass through Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean war armistice in Pyongyang on July 27, 2013. North Korea mounted its largest ever military parade on July 27 to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War, displaying its long-range missiles at a ceremony presided over by leader Kim Jong-Un. AFP PHOTO / Ed Jones (Photo credit should read Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images

On October 10th, North Korea supreme leader Kim Jung-Un will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the totalitarian state’s Communist Party, which is also his family business.

The parade is estimated to be the largest in the country’s history. It will feature the newest in North Korean military technology and generalized geopolitical menace. 

Photo: The U.S.-Korea Institute at SAIS

Just how big will it be? The satellite photos analyzed by 38 North, reveal the mind-boggling scale of preparation. Since May, nearly 700 trucks, 200 armored vehicles, and even a fleet of aerial drones have been assembled at the Mirim military base outside of Pyongyang with full size mock parade grounds. Some 800 tents house the many thousands of troops participating. 

Meanwhile, for weeks, Pyongang’s residents have gathered, no doubt completely voluntarily, downtown to prepare for the rally, which will culminate in a torch-light parade to the Taedong River. Dancing, flag waving, slogan-shouting and a concert will feature residents of every age (from five and up) The parade celebrates what Korea Today, a state-run magazine, would says is a bright future. “Kim Jong Un,” the magazine exclaimed, “is the present-day sun.” 

Group dancing is a common way #NorthKorea celebrates big holidays, students practice for hours

A photo posted by Will Ripley (@willripleycnn) on

No matter the mounting economic woes worsened by a steep drop in demand for coal, a primary export, and the worst drought in 100 years, multiple infrastructure projects were undertaken in preparation for the celebration. The airport has been modernized, roads and bike-lines have been paved, and new high-rise apartments were put up for the political elite.

And the U.S. better not try to spoil his megalomaniacal fun, since last month reminded the world that it’s a dangerous nuclear power and that “If the U.S. and other hostile forces persistently seek their reckless hostile policy towards the DPRK and behave mischievously, the DPRK is fully ready to cope with them with nuclear weapons any time.”

North Korea’s friend to the north, China, had its own bombastic celebration a month back commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Chinese President Xi Jinping is dispatching a fifth-ranking party official to the super-duper Korean celebration.

Neither James Franco nor Seth Rogan are expected to attend.