North Korea stages huge parade, but holds back on advanced missiles

Arturo Kim
September 10, 2018

With no long-range missiles on display, North Korea has staged a military parade focused on peace and economic development, filled with coloured balloons and flowers to mark the 70th anniversary of the country's founding.

According to Xinhua news agency, Mr Li said that no matter how the global and regional situation changes, China's firm commitment to the consolidation and development of bilateral ties will not change.

North Korea's state-run media published Friday what it said was an "indictment" by its South Korean wing, denouncing USA forces on the peninsula and calling their withdrawal "the irresistible trend of the times".

Kim Jong-un did not deliver a public message on the day; that duty fell to the titular head of state, Kim Yong Nam (no relation), who heads North Korea's parliament.

Floats on unification also passed by a throng of North Koreans waving unified Korea flags. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

Also, the chairs and benches where Kim Jong Un had sat are now encased in glass.

The "new line" of putting economic development first has been Kim's top priority this year.

North Korea on Sunday kicked off a huge propaganda festival, featuring enormous co-ordinated displays unlike anything else in the world.

Since their June 12 meeting, which many in the United States and around the world have criticized as being merely a photo op without any substance, the two sides have held several meetings but also engaged in mutual recriminations over failing to make sufficient progress on the points ostensibly agreed to in Singapore.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also used the parade to show off his friendship with China, raising the hand of President Xi Jinping's envoy as they saluted the crowd together afterwards.

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In a tweet Sunday, President Trump suggested North Korea's decision to cut the missiles shows their commitment to denuclearization.

President Donald Trump hailed it as a tangible outcome of his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The North displayed its latest missilery in the February parade, however, and Washington hardly batted an eye.

The theme for the celebrations this year was economic development and unifying the Korean peninsula, divided since World War Two. 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. Gen. Michael Minihan, who is chief of staff for United Nations Command and U.S. Forces Korea, and North Korean Lt. Gen.

The U.S. conducted 33 investigative and recovery operations in the country before former President George W. Bush's administration called off the search, claiming the safety of American participants was not guaranteed.

Airplanes forming the number 70 fly in formation and fire flares during a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

That was the pattern established by Kim's father, Kim Jong-il - make a few public-relations moves and wait for the U.S. to pony up food, aid, and a relaxation on sanctions.

Chung met with Kim this week in Pyongyang.

The mass games, dubbed "Shining Fatherland", featured everything from a display of drones flying in formation to fireworks, lasers, circus-style performances and at one point hundreds of martial artists doing taekwondo.

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