North Korea stages huge parade, but holds back on advanced missiles

Blanche Robertson
September 10, 2018

After holding historic talks with Trump in June, Kim affirmed his "unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

"Experts believe that North Korea cut out the nuclear missiles to show President Trump".

Kim Yong Nam, North Korea's titular head of state, gave a speech at the parade in which he said the country had achieved status as a military power, and would now pursue efforts to strengthen its economy.

A portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is displayed on a large screen during a evening gala performance on the eve of the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day on Saturday.

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.

But that has been dropped this year, underlining Mr Kim's stated aim for denuclearising the Korean peninsula and his recent meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and summits with US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. "Energy of the parade was much more upbeat and lighthearted versus previous years - not so much the military portion but definitely in civilian portion". We will both prove everyone wrong!

For his part, Kim said North Korea adheres to the consensus reached at the summit and "has taken measures in this regard while the USA side should take corresponding actions to jointly promote the political settlement of the Korean peninsula issue", according to Xinhua. "Unification is the only way Koreans can survive", said an editorial in North Korea's party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

"(China) hopes North Korea and the United States will implement their common understanding (made) in their bilateral summit and keep to the good trend of peace and dialogue", the Chinese official said, adding that China wants to play a "constructive role" in resolving Korean Peninsula issues politically together with other concerned nations.

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The strong emphasis on the economy underscores leader Kim Jong Un's new strategy of putting economic development front and center.

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.

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. The North Korean leader, for his part, confirmed readiness to visit Russian Federation.

North Korea's state-run media published Friday what it said was an "indictment" by its South Korean wing, denouncing USA forces on the peninsula and calling their withdrawal "the irresistible trend of the times".

It would be a three-stage rocket which would the largest of its kind ever launched by North Korea.

Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon will meet in Pyongyang on September 18-20 for the third time this year and discuss "practical measures" towards denuclearisation, officials in Seoul have said.

In the letter, President Xi hailed Mr Kim's "focused efforts to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood" through his "new strategic line". He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter USA aggression and devote his resources to raising the standard of living.

"As long as the USA military stays on this territory, the unhappiness, suffering and catastrophe of our people will never disappear, and unification will never be realized", the North Korea group said.

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