USA president thanks North Korea as flowers replace missiles in parade

10 September, 2018, 18:31 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Korean People's Army soldiers march during a military parade and mass rally on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang

Moreover, Li Zhanshu, a member of China's Politbureau Standing Committee and, as the country's parliamentary head, widely seen as the number three player in the Chinese Communist Party, joined North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in reviewing 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.

Mr Li had travelled to North Korea as a special envoy of President Xi. "Kim refrained from provoking China, while seeking to keep momentum for talks with the USA".

Recalling his three meetings with Xi, Kim said he felt in person the valuable and warm DPRK-China friendship, adding that the DPRK will firmly carry on and do its best to develop the friendship no matter how the global situation changes. "He had promised a "grand celebration" of the foundation day, but there were not many things to celebrate on nuclear talks or economic development". Trump added: "Thank you To Chairman Kim".

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.

The talks came as the longtime adversaries are otherwise locked in a diplomatic stalemate over efforts to persuade the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

In late August, Trump made a decision to cancel the trip of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang due to the lack of such progress.

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Despite efforts to tone down the parade, there is one remarkable image that has captured the global audience.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attended the parade but reportedly did not address the crowd. There were marching bands and thousands of singers, dancers and gymnasts who told the history of the 70 years since the nation's founding. Delegations from countries such as Syria, Vietnam and nations across Africa that have friendly relations with the North sent delegations.

North Korea is clearly trying to switch its emphasis away from just military power to its efforts to improve the country's domestic economy. In the past, the event had been broadcasted live or aired later with recorded footage.

Despite the absence of ICBMs and Kim's speech, South Korean intelligence officials said Sunday's parade involved the participation of more soldiers than in February.

This parade, by contrast, ended with a "social presentation", he said. While the event was overshadowed by the absence of regional allies' leaders, China and Russian Federation sent their senior representatives and congratulatory messages to mark the occasion. The North Korean leader spoke to Chinese parliament chief Li Zhanshu about building economic growth and said he hopes to learn from China. The North Korean leader, for his part, confirmed readiness to visit Russian Federation.

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