North Korea has begun preparations for holding an outdoor fireworks show in Pyongyang on Oct. 10 to celebrate the country’s Party Foundation Day, Daily NK has learned.

According to a Daily NK military source earlier today, an order signed by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was issued on Saturday directing the Korean People’s Army to prepare for the fireworks show on Oct. 10.

An Artillery Command engineering battalion made up of around 500 soldiers was mobilized yesterday to begin installing fireworks launchers near the Workers’ Party Foundation Monument in Pyongyang’s Daedonggang District. According to the source, the battalion had been in charge of a similar outdoor fireworks show to celebrate the 67th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement on July 27.

“The battalion came out at 8 AM to work and were still working [on installing the fireworks launchers] at 10 PM,” the source said. “They are installing fireworks launchers on Daedong Bridge, Okryu Bridge, Rungra Bridge and other places along the Daedong River.”

According to him, the soldiers mobilized to install the fireworks launchers are rotating between daytime “installation shifts” and “guard shifts” at night to ensure security around the launchers is “airtight.”

Areas (circled in red) where the artillery launchers are being installed. / Image: Daily NK

Areas near the Daedong River have been completely closed to ordinary people, with Ministry of Social Security patrols telling elderly fishermen and others walking on the river’s banks to leave the areas, the source said.

The authorities reportedly plan to close off the areas until Oct. 13, which is when the launchers and unexploded fireworks (duds) will be removed following the Oct. 10 festivities.

Some Pyongyangites have reportedly complained about the installation of the fireworks launchers in the city because they have not been spared from the broader economic distress the country is facing. Some people have pointed out that while the fireworks show will be “nice to look at,” the Workers’ Party really should be spending its money on improving people’s lives, the source said.

North Korea continues to implement its “maximum emergency system” to respond to COVID-19, which suggests that the festivities on Oct. 10 will be drastically reduced compared to past years. The country still appears, however, to be preparing for a major military parade at Kim Il Sung Square on Party Foundation Day.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Jeong Tae Joo is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. He focuses on North Korean military matters. Please direct any questions about his articles to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.