North Korean anniversary parade full of colour but without any intercontinental missiles

North Korean anniversary parade full of colour but without any intercontinental missiles

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, raises hands with China's third-highest ranking official, Li Zhanshu, during a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sept. 9, 2018. The reason for the thespian's presence is unknown; he reportedly refused to speak to journalists.

There had been speculation that Chinese president Xi Jinping might make his first trip to Pyongyang for the parade, but in the end he sent Li Zhanzhu, the head of the National People's Congress and the third in rank in the Communist Party hierarchy.

Pyongyang residents unable to attend at the square on Sunday lined the streets around town to cheer and applaud convoys carrying the troops after they completed the parade duties.

"Now that Kim and Trump have pledged to trust and respect each other, Kim wants to come off as a trustworthy and considerate partner to Trump", said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at Kyungnam University's Far East Institute.

But in his talks with envoys of South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday in Pyongyang, Kim voiced hope that denuclearisation of the peninsula will take place during Trump's current term in office through January 2021, according to Seoul.

"@FoxNews This is a big and very positive statement from North Korea". "Thank you To Chairman Kim".

On the day, however, neither transpired.

This November 29, 2017, file image provided by the North Korean government on November 30, 2017, shows firing of what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

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Others spoke of the importance of reunifying the two Koreas.

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. An end-of-war declaration would only be a first step toward an eventual peace treaty, but many in Washington fear such a declaration could be used to undermine the legitimacy of the USA troop presence in South Korea.

He did not expect the North to do so, particularly as it would put the visiting Chinese delegation in the hard position of appearing to endorse the weapons programmes that have seen Pyongyang subjected to multiple global sanctions.

For worldwide consumption at least, Kim Jong-un's flagship "Byungjin" policy line, which focused on joint development of the economy and strategic weapons, has been watered down, with the focus now shifting to economic progress and downplaying the arms.

The theme for the celebrations this year was unifying the Korean peninsula, divided since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Unlike his predecessor Kim Jong-il, the current North Korean leader has never been to Russian Federation. The first of the three Kims was best known, after the war, for his "juche" or self-reliance philosophy.

In a speech Sunday, ceremonial president Kim Yong Nam lauded the country and its army as "the strongest in the world", but did not mention nuclear weapons. From a teacher's college where the students used virtual reality to study planets to a cosmetics factory where my guide told me they are trying to rival some of the name brand cosmetics of the West such as Gucci and Estee Lauder. His core policy line was "Songeun", or military first.

North Korea routinely uses major holidays to showcase its military capabilities and the latest developments in missile technology. These assets, combined, provide him with a deterrent that neither his father or grandfather could boast.

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