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Watching news coverage in Seoul, South Korea, of North Korea's military parade on Sept. 9. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un appeared at a middle-of-the-night military parade in Pyongyang on Thursday to mark the communist state's 73rd founding anniversary.

Why it matters: Compared to other recent parades, Thursday's was relatively calm. Kim reportedly gave no fiery speech against the United States and its allies and the country did not display intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles, according to the New York Times.

  • North Korea revealed a new submarine-launched ballistic missile during a military parade in January and what appeared to be a new ICBM during another parade last October, though it was unclear if the weapons were functional or built for show.

The big picture: Thursday's parade largely featured civil vehicles — like firetrucks and tractors — marching bands and military reservists, including some in bright orange hazmat suits and gas masks, according to the BBC.

  • Rodong Sinmun, the central government's official newspaper, described the hazmat-suited soldiers as members of an "emergency disease prevention unit" who are "protecting the security of the country and its people from the worldwide pandemic."

North Korea has repeatedly claimed that it has not been significantly affected by the virus but has implemented draconian restrictions to prevent its spread.

  • The country is, however, experiencing economic woes from international sanctions over its nuclear weapons program and ICBM tests.

Go deeper: UN watchdog: North Korea has restarted key nuclear reactor

Go deeper

Updated Oct 20, 2021 - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

16 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media giant is renaming its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media platform to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
53 mins ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.