Korea holds biggest Armed Forces Day event in a decade
Korea held a massive national ceremony at the Seoul Air Base Tuesday, celebrating the 65th year since the formation of the nation's armed forces.
The day is celebrated every year, but this year's was the largest in scale since 2003, with President Park Geun-hye, Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin and visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in attendance.
More than 11-thousand troops participated, while some 3-hundred pieces of the latest ground and air military hardware were showcased, including some that had never been shown to the public.
One of the weapons on display was the newly developed Hyunmoo-3 cruise missile, which boasts a world-class striking accuracy, with a margin of error of only three meters.
With a maximum range of 1,500 kilometers, it can strike any facility in North Korea when fired from the South.
The Korean Air Force-owned precision strike missiles Popeye and Slam-ER, as well as the ship-to-ground Haeseong missiles were also unveiled for the first time.
Following the military parade, President Park Geun-hye presented awards to four individuals and 12 battalions for their contributions.
She then gave a keynote speech in which she stressed the importance of promptly buildling Korea's own missile defense system, amid increasing North Korean missile threats.
Immediately after the main event, the Korean Air Force, in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force, put on an air show at the Seoul Air Base where high-tech air tricks were demonstrated.
Another military parade was staged across downtown Seoul later in the afternoon. involving roughly 1-hundred military vehicles carrying the latest weaponry, and about 4,500 troops.
Parts of Seoul's central districts, including roadways near City Hall, Seoul Station, Jonggak Station, Namdaemun Gate and the Sejong Intersection were blocked to traffic for the event.
Han Da-eun, Arirang News.
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