Military Foundation Day in North Korea in 2021

Military Foundation Day in North Korea in 2021
Mansudae Grand Monuments. Image by Uri Tours , via Flickr

  Dates of Military Foundation Day in North Korea
2022 North Korea Mon, Apr 25 National Holiday
2021 North Korea Sun, Apr 25 National Holiday
2020 North Korea Sat, Apr 25 National Holiday
2019 North Korea Thu, Apr 25 National Holiday
2018 North Korea Wed, Apr 25 National Holiday
  Summary
The date of establishment of Kim Il-Sung's guerrilla army in 1932, considered the predecessor of the Korean People's Army.

When is Military Foundation Day?

Korean People's Army Foundation Day is an annual public holiday in North Korea observed on April 25th.

Also known as Military Foundation Day, Chosun People's Army Foundation Day or simply Army day, the day marks the foundation of Kim Il-Sung's guerrilla army in 1932, during Japan's colonial rule of Korea, an event considered the predecessor of the Korean People's Army.

In May 20202, a decree was promulgated Wednesday to institute the April 25th founding day of the Korean People's Revolutionary Army (KPRA) as a national holiday.

History of Military Foundation Day

Like other holidays in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, this seemingly straightforward celebration has a more complicated history than you would expect.

Since technically the country is still at war with South Korea, it is not a surprise that the Korean People's Army (KPA) is one of the biggest and most important organisations in North Korea.

Even though it had existed as a force since 1945, it became an official army in 1948, when the Soviet Union recognised it as the military of North Korea. The first parade by Kim Il Sung's new army took place on Sunday February 8th 1948.

February 8th then became the date of Military Foundation Day, until 1978 when the date was changed to April 25th. In 2018 the date switched again to February 8th. 

According to North Korean historiography, Kim Il Sung had founded the Korean People's Revolutionary Army, an anti-Japanese guerrilla unit, on April 25th 1932 and the anniversary of this earlier date was adopted as Military Foundation Day.

Did you know?

During the parade on Military Foundation Day in 1992, Kim Jong-il announced to the public: "Bring glory to the heroic people's military". This was the first and only recording of Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader from 1994 to 2011, speaking publicly.

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