No long-range missiles, N.Korea military parade features floats and flowers

EPA shows Kim Jong-un raising his hand together with Li Zhanshu a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China at a viewing stand during a military parade underway in central Pyo

EPA shows Kim Jong-un raising his hand together with Li Zhanshu a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China at a viewing stand during a military parade underway in central Pyo

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.

North Korea staged a huge military parade on Sunday to mark 70 years since the country's founding, but it held back its most advanced missiles to avoid jeopardizing ongoing talks with the U.S.

Robert E Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea, was responding to two tweets by the United States president in which he claimed credit for the absence of nuclear missiles in North Korea's 70th anniversary parade.

North Korea watchers look to these parades as a rare opportunity to read into the mindset of the country's leader, Kim Jong Un, and the message Sunday was a nod to diplomacy.

After a truncated parade featuring tanks and some of North Korea's biggest artillery, fewer than the usual number of missiles and lots of goose-stepping units from all branches of the military, the focus switched to civilian groups ranging from nurses to students to construction workers, many with colorful floats beside them.

North Korea was founded in 1948, after the peninsula had been divided by great power fiat at the end of World War II, prior to which it was a Japanese colony.

North Korea watchdog 38 North said commercial satellite imagery of the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in August suggested no dismantlement has taken place at either the launch pad or engine test stand.

The slogans - one of which said "all efforts on economy" - are in line with Kim's new political priority outlined earlier this year before he met Trump.

"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.

Mr Li also said his visit aims to implement the important consensus between Mr Xi and Mr Kim, enhance high-level strategic communication, carry out friendly exchanges in various fields and have in-depth exchanges of views on further development of the traditional friendship so as to create a better future for the China-North Korea ties, Xinhua reported.

Associated Press shows a military parade underway at Kim Il-sung Square in central Pyongyang on Sept. 9 2018 staged to celebrate the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding
North Korea holds military parade to celebrate 70th anniversary

The third-highest ranking Chinese official was in Pyongyang to attend a massive parade the following day marking the North's 70th founding anniversary.

The US President added that "Theme was peace and economic development".

The parade also provided Kim an opportunity to show off restored ties with his most important ally, China.

The senior statesman called on the military to be ready to work to help build the economy.

Mr Kim also referred to the June summit meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore, noting that he wants the US side to take action in proportion to North Korean efforts taken in accordance with their agreement in the summit.

Despite stalled progress on talks with Washington, the North Korean leader wants to denuclearise the peninsula within Trump's first term, according to South Korean officials. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter USA aggression and devote his resources to raising the nation's standard of living.

And South Korean President Moon Jae-in was slated to travel to Pyongyang on September 18 for the first such trip in 11 years.

Participants perform during the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sept. 9, 2018.

Tickets to this year's spectacle started at just over US$100 and went up to more than US$800 per seat.

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