North Korea marks anniversary with huge parade

North Korea marks anniversary with huge parade

Kim spent the parade with a special envoy from China and other foreign visitors, Reuters reported.

"There was no display of ICBMs, IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles), which would really not have sat well with the whole idea that North Korea is committed to ultimate demilitarization".

In April, leader Kim declared the North's nuclear programme a success and said the country's new strategic priority would be "socialist economic construction".

The combining of military and civilian sections is a familiar North Korean parade format. There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!

Trump praised Kim for the parade's focus on growth and the reported lack of nuclear weapons, calling it a "big and very positive statement from North Korea" and taking credit for his efforts.

As talks between President Donald Trump and Kim have stalled, a parade featuring intercontinental ballistic missiles could have been seen as a deliberate provocation.

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Trump, who met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12, went on to thank Kim for the gesture, adding that "We will both prove everyone wrong!"

No long-range missiles were on display, with the parade instead focusing on economic development.

"It looks like the North Koreans really tried to tone down the military nature of this", said Chad O'Carroll, managing director of Korea Risk Group.

The displays - overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, the third member of his family to rule the country - are crucial to Korea-watchers, who observe them closely for clues about its latest advances.

But this time there was no real trace of the country's nuclear weapons program that has been characteristic of past parades, including one before the Winter Olympics in February.

"It'll be interesting to see if Kim Jong Un does try to change the symbolism, change the message to essentially diminish the militaristic message and enhance the economic message", Delury said.

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North Korea's desire to use the performance to attract worldwide attention was clear, said Gianni Merlo, the Italian head of the global Sports Press Association, who said he was invited to attend the events by the North Korean government.

And the issue of nuclear-armed North Korea will most likely not be the main topic in Vladivostok, said Andrei Lankov, a historian at Seoul's Kookmin University.

Despite no agreement yet between Pyongyang and Washington on the denuclearization process the two agreed to at their landmark Singapore summit in June, and with Pyongyang demanding the U.S. agree to a peace treaty to end the 1950-53 Korean War, there have, over the last week, been some encouraging signals. This spectacle of human art, in which thousands of carefully drilled performers hold up colored placards that, in combination, create a series of shifting images, is a flagship specialty of North Korea. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter USA aggression and devote his resources to raising his nation's standard of living.

That includes an iconic mass games that Pyongyang is organising for the first time in five years, a huge, nationalist pageant performed by up to 100,000 people in one of the world's largest stadiums. 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.

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.

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