Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

North Korea celebrates 70th birthday with parade - but doesn't show off ICBMs

North Korea celebrates 70th birthday with parade - but doesn't show off ICBMs

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.

"Trump is not going to prove anyone wrong". Trump tweeted. "There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!"

There was no sign of the Hwasong-14 and -15 missiles that can reach the mainland US and changed the strategic balance when they were first tested previous year.

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.

North Korean gymnasts perform in the Arirang Mass games celebrating the 70th anniversary of North Korea's foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sept. 9, 2018. The recently returned remains, mostly bones and other fragments, were flown to Hawaii for analysis and identification.

Yet this year, following Kim's multi-polar charm offensive - which some pundits believe is a desperate strategy to break out of his global isolation, while others believe it is a a natural progression now that he has essentially finalized his nuclear deterrent - Kim and Xi have met three times.

In April, Kim declared that the North's nuclear programme had been successfully completed and "socialist economic construction" was the new strategic priority.

Also on Sunday, as part of the national day celebrations, Pyongyang resurrected its famed Mass Games performance.

China's top legislator on Sunday presented a signed letter from General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese President Xi Jinping to Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

With new pact, US, India can now share 'sensitive technology'
James Mattis had earlier asserted that India and the U.S. will have a very transparent dialogue. Taking on China's rising power is the much more important challenge.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the parade but reportedly did not address the crowd.

A North Korea "civic group" has disclosed a statement urging the withdrawal of USA forces from the peninsula.

Such set-piece dates are a mainstay of the North's political calendar, and have for years been opportunities to demonstrate progress in its quest for a missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to the United States.

The decision not to include the missiles came days after Kim expressed faith in Trump's efforts to settle a nuclear impasse between the two countries, according to South Korean officials who met with the North Korean leader on Thursday.

"It's favorable to both of them, but especially to North Korea", said Choo Jaewoo, a professor of Chinese foreign policy at Kyung Hee University.

The North did show off a battery of big artillery pieces known as self-propelled guns that could be used to threaten Seoul, South Korea's capital.

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.

Soon after Sunday's celebrations end, Kim will once again meet withSouth Korean President Moon Jae-in as the rival neighbors continue their efforts to improve relations. This year's spectacle - tickets start at just over $100 and go up to more than $800 per seat - also has a strong economic theme.

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