Friday, 16 November, 2018

North Korea marks anniversary with huge parade

People taking part in a concert at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Saturday Image Performers take part in a concert at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Saturday
Ray Hunter | 10 September, 2018, 12:57

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Interested in North Korea? North Korea traditionally uses holidays to showcase its military arsenal and new technology.

Chinese parliament chief Li Zhanshu, who is in Pyongyang for celebrations marking 70 years since the founding of North Korea, was told by Kim that North Korea hopes the United States keeps to its side of the agreement, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported.

After a 21-gun salute, dozens of infantry units marched through Kim Il Sung Square, some in night-vision goggles or wielding rocket-propelled grenade launchers, as the current leader - the founder's grandson - looked on from a rostrum.

All eyes are on whether Kim will make a public speech, and if so, what kind of message he will send as denuclearisation talks have reached an impasse since Singapore.

That's a big departure from February's parade, when it displayed its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, believed capable of reaching the US, and a number of other formidable missiles and the erector-launchers used to fire them off from remote locations.

While North Korea rolled out some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained goose-stepping units for the parade at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, it held back its most advanced missiles and devoted almost half of the event to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump claimed after a historic summit in June that North Korea had agreed to complete denuclearization, only to have reports suggest months later that North Korea have continued to build.

"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. "Much better than before I took office".

During her visit to Pyongyang, Matvienko delivered a letter from Russian President Vladimir Putin to Kim.

Seoul is now looking to give second wind to diplomatic momentum that culminated in the historic summit between Kim Jong-un and Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

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The guide said Kim Jung Un "appreciates attractive women and wants North Korean women to be the most handsome of all".

The last mass games took place five years ago.

The Mass Games will continue at the North Korean capital's Rungrado May Day Stadium throughout September.

Under the theme "Glorious Nation", tens of thousands of gymnasts and acrobats danced in highly synchronized formation.

"Kim might not have many things to show off to his people".

During the event, a video was played of Kim meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

The two-hour event featured artillery, tanks and thousands of soldiers, but not the missiles that have the potential to hit South Korea, Japan and even the mainland United States.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (C) waves as he stands beside China's Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Li Zhanshu (center R) during the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, Sept. 9, 2018.

The event is the second major show of military might this year following a similar procession in February, though unlike previously, Sunday's parade did not feature intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) believed to be capable of targeting the US.

Recalling his three meetings with Xi, Kim said he felt in person the valuable and warm DPRK-China friendship, adding that the DPRK will firmly carry on and do its best to develop the friendship no matter how the worldwide situation changes.

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