North Korea boasts of 'invincible power' world cannot ignore ahead of holiday

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un gestures as he watches the test-firing of a new-type tactical guided weapon according to state media, North Korea, in this undated photo released on April 16, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). KCNA via REUTERS

SEOUL, April 24 (Reuters) - North Korean state media on Sunday trumpeted how the country has gained an "invincible power that the world cannot ignore and no one can touch" under Kim Jong Un, an apparent reference to its nuclear weapons, as Pyongyang prepares for a military holiday.

Monday will mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, and international monitors expect North Korea to stage a major military parade and possibly conduct other weapons displays.

North Korea has conducted an unprecedented flurry of ballistic missile tests this year, and American and South Korean officials say there are signs it could resume nuclear weapons testing for the first time since 2017.

A report by state news agency KCNA on Sunday listed the history of North Korea's military achievements, from its battles against the United States in the 1950-1953 Korean War and smaller skirmishes throughout the Cold War to the 2010 bombardment of South Korea's Yeonpyeong Island, which hit both military and civilian targets.

The North's military is equipped with offensive and defensive capabilities that can "cope with any modern warfare," KCNA said.

It praised Kim's "genius military ideology and outstanding military command and unparalleled courage and guts," and his leadership in gaining the country's "invincible power."

South Korea had detected signs of North Korea preparing to hold a massive military parade around midnight Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.

The parade could include around 20,000 troops and showcase the North's latest major weapons, including its Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a hypersonic missile, and missiles launched from submarines, the sources told Yonhap.

For weeks commercial satellite imagery has shown thousands of North Korean troops practicing marching in formation at a parade training ground in Pyongyang, according to 38 North, a U.S.-based programme, and NK News, a Seoul-based website that tracks the North.

Reporting by Josh Smith; Additional reporting by Byungwook Kim; Editing by Paul Simao and Jacqueline Wong

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