Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

[Breaking] Large military parade marks NK founding day: intelligence officials

Workers at a cosmetics factory in North Korea Image Workers at a cosmetics factory in North Korea
Ebony Burgess | 10 September, 2018, 12:56

"We will both prove everyone wrong!" he tweeted.

The past two big anniversaries of North Korea's founding, in 2008 and 2013, did not feature the Korean People's Army, only the civil defense units, which are officially called "Worker Peasant Red Guards".

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.

This year is of special historic significance for China-DPRK relations, said Li, adding that the three meetings between Xi and Kim had ushered in a new historic stage of the bilateral ties.

And with tens of thousands of troops, thousands of tanks, and hundreds of aircraft expected to roll through Pyongyang today in an anniversary parade - today could be the day Kim breaks his silence.

China's top legislator voiced hope that North Korea and the United States will implement their nuclear summit agreement as he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese state media said Monday (Sep 10).

Armored personnel carriers, multiple rocket launchers and tanks followed, with biplanes flying overhead in a "70" formation.

It will also allow the Kremlin to discuss the dramatic rapprochement between Trump and Kim Jong-un with key regional players.

"It looks like the North Koreans really tried to tone down the military nature of this", said Chad O'Carroll, managing director of Korea Risk Group.

Finally came the missiles, the traditional climax of the parades. But the only ones on show were short-range battlefield devices, the Kumsong-3 anti-ship cruise missile, and the Pongae-5 surface-to-air weapon. This was in stark contrast to similar parades held in April a year ago and in February, when Kim Jong-un rolled out the newest Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 ICMBs.

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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"Their absence now is likely either a part of North Korea's attempt to obscure the details of what will be featured or pre-parade maintenance or preparation underway, or a combination of both", the experts said.

Pyongyang has not publicly stated a willingness to give up the weapons it has spent decades developing at huge political and financial cost, but it has been on a diplomatic charm offensive for months. The head of the nation's parliament, Kim Yong-nam addressed the crowd instead.

According to South Korean President Moon Jae-in's national security chief Chung Eui-yong, Kim had said the withdrawal of USA forces had "nothing to do with" the end-of-war declaration promoted by the Pyongyang regime.

Depardieu, who has appeared in about170 films, is a friend of Russian president Vladimir Putin and holds dual French-Russian nationality.

The displays - overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, the third member of his family to rule the country - are crucial to Korea-watchers, who observe them closely for clues about its latest advances.

No matter how the global and regional situation changes, China's firm commitment to the consolidation and development of bilateral ties will not change, nor will Chinese people's friendship towards their DPRK peers or China's support to DPRK's socialist course, Li said.

But the parade on Sunday didn't include intercontinental ballistic missiles that are believed to be able to reach the continental United States.

Russia also sent its third highest-ranking official, Valentina Matviyenko, the chairwoman of its Federation Council, or upper house of parliament.

"China is still a very important player and its presence here with such a high level delegation is intended in some way to remind the U.S. of that", he said.

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.

On the Korean Peninsula issue, Li said that achieving lasting peace and denuclearization of the Peninsula accords with the trend of the times and the aspiration of the people.

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