North Korea uses 70th anniversary to push economy, not nukes

10 September, 2018, 12:56 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • People taking part in a concert at Pyongyang Indoor Stadium on Saturday

Kim, who was joined by Chinese special envoy Li Zhanshu, smiled and waved to crowds but did not make any public statements.

Despite the display of military might, which included tank battalions, rocket launcher and military aircraft that formed the number 70th above the square, there was no display of intercontinental ballistic missiles, something everyone was watching for.

In April Kim declared that the North's development of nuclear weapons had been completed and "socialist economic construction" would be the new strategic priority.

With tensions once again on the rise, a parade featuring the very missiles that so unnerved Trump previous year, and led to a risky volley of insults from both leaders, could have been seen as a deliberate provocation.

Some defectors and human rights activists criticize North Korea's group performances, including the Mass Games and military parades, for glossing over the country's human rights record and placing extreme demands on performers, especially children. Trump tweeted. "There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!"

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

The North is attempting to ease tensions with the U.S., following the historic summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year in Singapore.

While his current focus is on global diplomacy and domestic economic development, he commands both a nuclear arsenal and an intercontinental ballistic missile force.

At such events in North Korea performers normally play in front of a giant screen displaying the country's successes.

Officials attend the ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of North Korea's foundation in this undated photo released on Saturday by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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The parade featured tanks, missiles and a multitude of goose-stepping units from all branches of the military.

And tens of thousands of civilians in the parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding as well.

The guide said Kim Jung Un "appreciates attractive women and wants North Korean women to be the most handsome of all".

The North also refrained from immediately televising the event, though North Korean media were out in force to film it, deploying booms and - for possibly the first time - drones with cameras.

The anniversary comes at a crucial time during talks over denuclearisation. "North Korea has the economic problems and there are people unhappy with that".

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.

The parade came at a delicate time, as Kim presses for a peace declaration to formally end the war North Korea and China fought against US -led forces from 1950-53.

"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. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter US aggression and devote his resources to raising the nation's standard of living.

That includes iconic mass games that Pyongyang is organizing for the first time in five years, a huge, nationalist pageant performed by up to 100,000 people in one of the world's largest stadiums.

However, Trump days ago praised the North Korean leader, touting him for saying he wants to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula during Trump's first term as president.

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