No long-range missiles, DPRK military parade features floats and flowers

Sunday, 2018-09-09 15:06:59
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Soldiers march during a parade to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK in Pyongyang, DPRK, on September 9, 2018. (Photo: Xinhua)
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With no long-range missiles on display, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) staged a military parade on September 9 focused on peace and economic development, filled with coloured balloons and flowers to mark the 70th anniversary of the country's founding.

A sea of spectators watched the parade as tens of thousands goose-stepping soldiers and columns of tanks drove past a review stand where DPRK’s leader Kim Jong-un took the salute.

Unlike in previous years, there were no inter-continental missiles on display. And there were no nuclear tests to mark the day, as has happened in each of the last two years.

DPRK routinely uses major holidays to showcase its military capabilities and the latest developments in missile technology.

But that has been dropped this year, underlining Kim's stated aim for denuclearising the Korean peninsula and his recent meetings with the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s President Moon Jae-in and summits with US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The theme for the celebrations this year was unifying the Korean peninsula, divided since the 1950-53 Korean War. Floats on unification passed by a throng of DPRK’s waving unified Korea flags.

"All Koreans should join forces to accomplish unification in our generation. Unification is the only way Koreans can survive," said an editorial in DPRK's party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

Kim and 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.

DPRK has invited a large group of foreign journalists to cover a military parade and other events to mark the 70th anniversary of its founding.