North Korea adds new twist to big parade: Reporter's notebook

Minnie Murray
September 10, 2018

The parade was more low key than a parade staged in April 2017 that featured an array of ballistic missiles, exacerbating tensions with the United States.

Armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers and tanks followed, with biplanes flying overhead in a "70" formation.

News 1 reported Friday there have been talks between Pyongyang and the United Nations Command to cooperate on the excavation of us military remains on the North's side of Panmunjom.

It will also allow the Kremlin to discuss the dramatic rapprochement between Trump and Kim Jong-un with key regional players.

Finally came the missiles, the traditional climax of the parades. 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.

President Donald Trump applauded the lack of intercontinental ballistic missiles on his Twitter account Sunday. NK will never give up its weapons.

In his New Year's message in January, Kim had pledged to celebrate the country's 70th anniversary with "utmost grandness" after declaring the completion of nuclear capability and vowing to shift its focus to economic development.

North Korea staged a huge military parade on Sunday to mark its 70th anniversary as a nation but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted almost half of the parade to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

Journalists from around the world were invited to the reclusive country to view the parade.

The parade allowed Kim to highlight themes of military accomplishment, national development, and worldwide engagement at a time when doubts are arising over his commitment to abandoning nuclear weapons.

Thousands of accompanying citizens waved bouquets and flags, chanting "Long live" to the leader.

Diplomatic invitations for the anniversary went out around the world, but the only head of state who attended was Mauritanian president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, although French actor Gerard Depardieu was spotted sitting in a section below the main tribune, according to AFP.

Moon, who has stated his intention of acting as an intermediary between Trump and Kim, will meet the latter in Pyongyang over September 18-20 for what will be their third summit, with the goal being to set out the details of the deep-frozen denuclearization process.

In the meeting with Mr Kim, Mr Li also reiterated China's commitment to a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula, according to the report, reported Yonhap.

The countries have traditionally close ties, though the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping could indicate Beijing still has some reservations about Kim's initiatives.

"China is still a very important player and its presence here with such a high level delegation is intended in some way to remind the U.S. of that", he said.

The Korean War ended in an armistice but not a peace treaty.

Washington wants Pyongyang to move decisively toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program, but North Korea insists it first wants a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is over, as a way of helping guarantee its security and build trust.

But some things do not change.

The economic theme was also prominent in the new mass games routine, which was markedly lighter in tone and more entertaining than in previous years, when it tended to be more dramatic and overtly political.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article