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Slimmed down Kim Jong Un watches military parade featuring solders in hazmat suits

South Korea North Korea Military Parade
South Korea North Korea Military Parade
Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 16:27:41-04

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea celebrated the nation's 73rd anniversary with a toned-down military parade.

It did not feature any ballistic missiles, but civil defense forces were wearing gas masks and hazmat suits.

North Korea has not reported any COVID-19 cases and recently rejected vaccine donations so they could be used in harder-hit countries, the BBC reports.

North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un, appearing noticeably thinner, watched the parade go through the country's capital.

Experts tell The Associated Press that the toned-down event reflects challenges North Korea faces, including a mismanaged economy and closed borders.

CNN reports that most, if not all, foreign diplomats and aid workers have left the country.