North Korea holds military parade to celebrate 70th anniversary

10 September, 2018, 12:56 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Workers at a cosmetics factory in North Korea

Kim's new missile was allegedly already finished when he ordered the launch at the beginning of this year amid tensions with Trump.

"Their absence now is likely either a part of North Korea's attempt to obscure the details of what will be featured or pre-parade maintenance or preparation underway, or a combination of both", the experts said.

Although North Korea stages military parades nearly every year, and held one just before the Olympics began in South Korea in February this year, Sunday's parade came at a particularly sensitive time. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed on September 9, 1948, three years after Moscow and Washington divided the peninsula between them in the closing days of the Second World War.

These reports loom large over the North Korea anniversary celebrations - which are expected to be centred round a spectacular parade in Pyongyang.

But the parade on Sunday didn't include intercontinental ballistic missiles that are believed to be able to reach the continental United States.

A historic summitbetween Trump and Kim in June - along with talks between North and South Korea -prompted hopes of a broader detente on the nuclear peninsular.

He also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un helped "prove everyone wrong through good dialogue between two people that like each other". "Unification is the only way Koreans can survive", read a Sunday editorial in communist-party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

The past two big anniversaries of North Korea's founding, in 2008 and 2013, did not feature the Korean People's Army, only the civil defense units, which are officially called "Worker Peasant Red Guards".

There were tens of thousands of North Korean troops - goose-stepping under leader Kim Jong Un's viewing balcony in Pyongyang's Kim II Sung Square. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Washington wants North Korea to commit to denuclearization, while Pyongyang is demanding security assurances and other concessions in advance of dismantling its nuclear arsenal.


There was speculation that Xi might reciprocate for the anniversary - Hu Jintao was the last Chinese president to visit in 2005, and the then premier Wen Jiabao followed suit in 2009.

A huge float was decorated with a modern train, solar panels, wind power plants and dams, under a slogan of "All our might to build economy!", as North Korean men in construction work wear marched.

President Xi Jinping sent his former chief of staff, Li Zhanshu, the highest-ranking Chinese official to visit Pyongyang in nine years, who was seen waving hands next to Kim.

Last year, North Korea displayed its long-range missiles for the world to see, unnerving the White House and prompting a fiery exchange of insults from both sides, leaving many fearing war.

The games are also a time-tested source of tourist dollars for North Korea.

The North also refrained from immediately televising the event, though North Korean media were out in force to film it, deploying booms and - for possibly the first time - drones with cameras.

Thousands of dancers, gymnasts, martial artists and singers acted out scenes addressing familiar themes from North Korean propaganda, including the country's struggles to recover from the 1950-1953 Korean War, and a starvation in the 1990s. Ticket sales to tourists from China and Europe are reportedly brisk despite prices that start at 100 euros and go all the way up to 800 euros for VIP seating.

For worldwide consumption at least, Kim Jong-un's flagship "Byungjin" policy line, which focused on joint development of the economy and strategic weapons, has been watered down, with the focus now shifting to economic progress and downplaying the arms.

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