Tension has been mounting on the Korean peninsula as well as the region as North Korea has been expected to mark October 10, the 72nd anniversary of the regime's ruling Workers' Party, with another provocation, but so far, North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un has stayed away from the public eye and from making another round of global headlines.
The anniversary, an annual public holiday in the secretive regime, was expected to be marked with a missile launch, as Pyongyang has a track history of commemorating key dates with provocations of such kind.
Pyongyang carried out its seventh intermediate-range ballistic missile on October 15th last year followed up by another test four days later.
This time around, speculations of an imminent provocation were further fueled by Russian lawmaker Anton Morozov who was quoted as saying last Friday, after returning from a visit to Pyongyang, that Kim Jong-un intended to launch one more long-range missile in the near future.
With no apparent signs indicating such event will happen on Tuesday, North Korea has decided to remain quiet on its public holiday. However, South Korea is on high alert and stays vigilant on any surprise provocation.
"As North Korea has publicly announced an additional provocation, the South Korean government will closely monitor the possibility of Pyongyang launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, submarine-launched ballistic missile or a nuclear test and will maintain a full readiness posture."
And although speculations over a missile launch on its key anniversary have weakened, tension on the peninsula remains high as the regime carried out a reshuffle at a key meeting of its ruling party,and this could represent another chance for Kim Jong-un to focus on consolidating his power base.
"With Pyongyang still leaving the possibility of another provocation open, North Korea watchers in Seoul are pointing at October 18th as a highly likely date, as that's the beginning of China's Party Congress or even in November when U.S. President Trump is scheduled to visit Asia.
Connie Kim, Arirang News."