Thousands of North Koreans gathered in a Pyongyang square where they stood in formation to spell out a message captured in satellite images that means “to defend with one’s life,” according to reports.
The 38 North website about the Hermit Kingdom said the massive crowd assembled at Kim Il Sung Square on Saturday to practice for an event around the time of the Eighth Party Congress in January.
“Political messages displayed with the kind of red placards seen in today’s image are common during this kind of event and require practice to perfect timing and accuracy,” the outlet’s Martyn Williams wrote.
The display was captured three days before a US reconnaissance plane flew near North Korea as Washington keeps an eye on the rogue regime ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20, the Yonhap news agency reported.
The US Air Force’s RC-135W Rivet Joint — which specializes in detecting telemetry signals before missile launches — was spotted flying over the region Tuesday took off from Kadena Air Base in Japan, the South Korean outlet reported.
“The US is paying close attention to North Korea’s movements, including preparations for a (possible) military parade for the Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea in January,” a South Korean military official said on condition of anonymity.
“The US military will likely conduct more frequent surveillance flights around the date of the congress,” he added.