[Breaking] Large military parade marks NK founding day: intelligence officials

Sep 10, 2018, 04:31
[Breaking] Large military parade marks NK founding day: intelligence officials

North Korea showcased its latest weaponry and best goose-stepping soldiers Sunday as the reclusive nation marked its 70 anniversary with a military parade at a time when it is under worldwide pressure to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

"Apparently Kim Jong Un thought that now was not time to unnecessarily provoke Trump", said Kim Yong-hyun, professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul. The parade held in Kim Il-Sung Square focused more on conventional weapons instead, such as tanks and rocket launchers.

This year's celebration, however, did not feature the isolated nation's most advanced missiles.

But on Sunday, almost half of the military parade was devoted to showcasing civilian efforts to build the country's economy, the Associated Press reported.

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 comes at a particularly sensitive time.

But while South Korea's President Moon Jae-in is due in Pyongyang for a summit with his North Korean counterpart from September 18 to 20, talks with the United States have hit a roadblock over who should make the next move. Washington wants Kim to commit to denuclearization first, but Pyongyang wants its security guaranteed and a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War.

The factory tours were meant to occupy - and enlighten - us journalists before the big event today: the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Japan's Abe is set to meet Putin on Monday evening to discuss "boosting economic cooperation and commercial exchanges" but also to "exchange views on the situation on the Korean peninsula", said Russian presidential adviser Yuri Ushakov. A February event, which came amid the first diplomatic breakthroughs between the two sides, was much smaller and featured no obvious new threats to the U.S.

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. There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!

Since I and the ABC News crew have been here, we have been with a government guide at all times, and can only go where they choose to take us.

A large display of ballistic missiles would be widely seen as provocative. But the parade on Sunday didn't include intercontinental ballistic missiles that are believed to be able to reach the continental United States.

Sunday's parade came just days after a high-level South Korean delegation had returned from a meeting with Kim in Pyongyang.

Capital residents unable to attend at the square lined the streets around town to cheer and applaud convoys carrying the troops after they complete the parade duties. Add North Korea as an interest to stay up to date on the latest North Korea news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

This year's celebrations also marked the revival of North Korea's iconic mass games after a five-year hiatus.

The games used updated technology, including a large formation of drones that spelled out words in the sky, as well as large projectors that were used to show scenes of Kim's April summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter U.S. aggression and devote his resources to raising the standard of living.

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