North Korea has held a military parade and rally in a central square in Pyongyang, the day before South Korea hosts the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Kim Jong Un, dressed in a long black winter coat, was shown walking on a red carpet with his wife at the beginning of the event, which state-run television broadcast hours after it was over.
It began with thousands of goose-stepping troops lined up in Kim Il Sung Square to form words and slogans.
Virtually all foreign media were excluded from the event.
February 8 has been seen as a less important founding anniversary but made something of a comeback in 2015 and was elevated further this year in part because it is the 70th.
The Olympics were probably also a big factor.
Kim has gone out of his way to make sure the North will hold attention throughout the Games.
Following a last-minute proposal during Kim’s annual new year address, North Korea is sending 22 athletes to compete and a delegation of more than 400 musicians, singers, martial artists and members of a cheering group.
Though possibly best known for their legions of goose-stepping troops, North Korean military parades are the country’s primary means of showing off its most recent advances in military technology — sometimes with aspirational mock-ups.
The North unveiled five new kinds of missiles at its most recent major military parade last April.