North Korea appears to be preparing for a massive military parade upon the 75th anniversary of the ruling regime the Rodong Party which falls on Saturday.
Despite signs that the dictatorship is grappling with the impact of COVID-19, severe flooding as well as economic sanctions, it seems that Pyeongyang will continue its tradition of having thousands of troops goose-stepping across Kim Il-sung Square alongside their latest weapons.
In fact, there's also speculation that the regime might be gearing up to launch an October Surprise designed to send a message to countries around the world namely the United States.
To discuss what we may see from the reclusive regime in the coming days and weeks, we connect with Soo Kim, Policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and former analyst for the CIA.
We also have Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea specialist and reader of International Relations at Kings College London.
Sue: Do you think COVID-19 will compromise the scale or grandeur of this year's October 10th event? What do you expect it to showcase?
Ramon: What are you expecting to see from the military parade?
Sue: There have been multiple speculations surrounding a possible October Surprise from North Korea, from conducting its first underwater ballistic missile test to another show of bromance between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. Are you expecting anything to happen?
Ramon: Do you think there'll be an October Surprise from Pyeongyang?
Ramon: South Korea's Lee Do-hoon met with Stephen Biegun and they apparently discussed "creative" ways to resume the long-stalled nuclear talks with Pyeongyang. Can the talks regain that 2018 momentum?
Sue: Right now, what do we know about Biden's approach to North Korea? Would he follow in Trump's footsteps of personally engaging with Kim Jong-un?
Sue: The killing of a South Korean civil servant prompted outrage in Seoul, and Pyeongyang apologized according to President Moon Jae-in's office, saying it was "unintended." But everything the North Koreans do tend to be calculated and executed to perfection. Do you think the killing was an accident, and why did Kim Jong-un even bother to apologize?
Ramon: What is your take on the events that followed the murder of the South Korean public servant?
That was Soo Kim, Policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and Ramon Pacheco Pardo, a Korea specialist and reader of International Relations at Kings College London.
Thank you for joining us from Washington D.C. and London.