NATIONAL

N. Korea's media report on military parade, mass games

By Yonhap
  • Published : Sept 10, 2018 - 09:31
  • Updated : Sept 10, 2018 - 13:51

North Korea's media reported Monday on a military parade staged in Pyongyang, a day after the event took place to celebrate the country's 70th founding anniversary.

"A military parade and a public procession of Pyongyang citizens for celebrating the 70th birthday of the DPRK took place with splendor in Kim Il Sung Square Sunday," the Korean Central News Agency said in English.


(Yonhap)

DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"The Supreme Leader reviewed the honour guard of the KPA services after receiving a salute from its chief," it added, referring to leader Kim Jong-un.

The event was not broadcast live with the North's state media staying silent on the event throughout the day. Reports of foreign journalists who were invited for the anniversary were the sole source of information for the event.
According to the foreign media reports, the North did not put intercontinental ballistic missiles on display during the parade.

This contrasts with a military parade in February, where the North showcased Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 ICBMs.

Kim also did not address the crowd, and instead Kim Yong-nam, the North's nominal head of state, delivered a speech, which media reports said focused mostly on economic development.


North Korean troops march in Pyongyang on Sept. 9 during a huge military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the country's creation. (AFP)

"The 70-year-long history of the DPRK is the one of gigantic change and great victory in which it, once a backward country, has towered as a powerful socialist country with an invincible might," the KCNA quoted Kim Yong-nam as saying.

"He called upon all the people to strive for the eternal prosperity of the country and the accomplishment of the socialist cause, firmly united around Kim Jong Un," it added.

Later, the North's Korean Central TV aired recorded footage of the parade.

Thousands of goose-stepping soldiers marched through the square, followed by tanks, armored vehicles and other weapons.

Planes flew overhead in formation, making the number "70" in the sky.

Leader Kim was seen returning salutes from the troops and sometimes waving his hand.

Standing left to him was Li Zhanshu, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China.

Kim was seen occasionally talking to him via an interpreter with a smile on his face.

No ICBMs were spotted.

Experts and government officials see the North's low-key approach in holding Sunday's ICBM-absent military parade as intended not to provoke the US

"A good message has been sent out signaling for new future for progress in inter-Korean relations, denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and establishment of peace," Baik Tae-hyun, unification ministry spokesman, said during a regular press briefing.

The KCNA said that leader Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju, later attended a grand mass gymnastics and artistic performance staged at the May Day Stadium in Pyongyang on Sunday to celebrate its 70th birthday.

The performance, better known as the Arirang mass games, was held for the first time since September 2013.

The mass games are highly choreographed shows where tens of thousands of performers stage a spectacular display of acrobatics, gymnastics, dances and flip-card mosaic animations. It is mostly aimed at extolling its leaders and the socialist system.

Sunday's performance steered clear of anti-US slogans, which used to be a mainstay of the previous mass games. It rather sometimes signified leader Kim's stepped-up efforts on diplomacy, according to foreign media reports.

The performance titled "the Glorious Country" will be held until Sept. 30. (Yonhap)