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NKorea deploying troops, weapons near Pyongyang

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - There's a military buildup near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

South Korea says the deploying of troops, artillery and tanks is probably in preparation for a massive military parade marking key national events this year.

South Korea's Defense Ministry says the North's military buildup began in mid-July amid high tensions on the peninsula. North Korea often marks important national holidays with military parades, often featuring newly developed missiles and weapons.

North Korea said in June that it would elect new ruling Workers' Party leaders in a party conference in early September. That sparked speculation that the move is aimed at boosting a government campaign to hand over power from leader Kim Jong Il to one of his sons.

It's widely believed that Kim is preparing to transfer power to his third and youngest son, Kim Jong Un, and many North Korea watchers say next month's party meeting is aimed at giving the son a key party job.

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