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

PYONGYANG (Reuters) – With no long-range missiles on display, North Korea staged a military parade on Sunday focused on peace and economic development, filled with colored 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 North Korean 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. North Korea 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 denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and his recent meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and summits with U.S. 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 North Koreans 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 North Korea’s party newspaper Rodong Sinmun. Kim and Moon will meet in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 for the third time this year and discuss “practical measures” towards denuclearization, officials in Seoul have said. Kim was seen laughing and holding hands up with a Chinese special envoy as he oversaw the festivities at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung square on a clear autumn day. Kim waved to the crowd before leaving but did not make any public remarks. North Korea has invited a large group of foreign journalists to cover a military parade and other events to mark the 70th anniversary of its founding. 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. Earlier on Sunday, Kim visited the mausoleum where his grandfather, the country’s founder, and his father lie in state, according to state media. A concert on Saturday night attended by the titular head of state, Kim Yong Nam, and foreign delegations featured little in the way of martial messaging or images, with only a few shadowy American bombers shown briefly in footage of the 1950-1953 Korean War. window.RCOM_Data = {“header_8jkx8j3gcl”:{“template”:”header”,”evergreens”:[{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/news/world”,”name”:”World”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/finance”,”name”:”Business”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/finance/markets”,”name”:”Markets”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/politics”,”name”:”Politics”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.tv/”,”name”:”TV”,”sponsored”:false}],”topics”:[{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/subjects/myanmar-reporters”,”name”:”Detained In Myanmar”,”sponsored”:false},{“url”:”https://www.reuters.com/energy-environment”,”name”:”Energy u0026 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Smith”,”journalist_url”:”/journalists/josh-smith”}],”shareUrl”:”https://reut.rs/2wWZqKL”,”published”:1536471422,”updated”:1536473350,”path”:”/article/us-northkorea-anniversary-military-parad/no-long-range-missiles-north-korea-military-parade-features-floats-and-flowers-idUSKCN1LP045″,”location”:”PYONGYANG”,”body”:”u003cpu003eBy Josh Smithu003c/pu003enu003cpu003ePYONGYANG (Reuters) – With no long-range missiles on display, North Korea staged a military parade on Sunday focused on peace and economic development, filled with colored balloons and flowers to mark the 70th anniversary of the countryu0027s founding.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eA sea of spectators watched the parade as tens of thousands goose-stepping soldiers and columns of tanks drove past a review stand where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took the salute. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eUnlike 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. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eNorth Korea routinely uses major holidays to showcase its military capabilities and the latest developments in missile technology.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eBut that has been dropped this year, underlining Kimu0027s stated aim for denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and his recent meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eThe 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 North Koreans waving unified Korea flags.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003e”All Koreans should join forces to accomplish unification in our generation. Unification is the only way Koreans can survive,” said an editorial in North Koreau0027s party newspaper Rodong Sinmun. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eKim and Moon will meet in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 for the third time this year and discuss “practical measures” towards denuclearization, officials in Seoul have said.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eKim was seen laughing and holding hands up with a Chinese special envoy as he oversaw the festivities at Pyongyangu0027s main Kim Il Sung square on a clear autumn day. Kim waved to the crowd before leaving but did not make any public remarks.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eNorth Korea has invited a large group of foreign journalists to cover a military parade and other events to mark the 70th anniversary of its founding. u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eThat 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 worldu0027s largest stadiums.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eEarlier on Sunday, Kim visited the mausoleum where his grandfather, the country‚Äôs founder, and his father lie in state, according to state media.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eA concert on Saturday night attended by the titular head of state, Kim Yong Nam, and foreign delegations featured little in the way of martial messaging or images, with only a few shadowy American bombers shown briefly in footage of the 1950-1953 Korean War.u003c/pu003enu003cpu003eu003c/pu003en”,”attribution”:{“type”:”default”,”content”:”Reporting by Josh Smith; writing by Ju-min Park; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan”},”images”:[{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302422658u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8806Q”,”title”:”North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinau0027s Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peopleu0027s Congress (NPC), wave to people while attending a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang”,”caption”:”North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Chinau0027s Li Zhanshu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peopleu0027s Congress (NPC), wave to people while attending a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui “},{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302422664u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8806O”,”title”:”People wave plastic flowers during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang”,”caption”:”People wave plastic flowers during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui”},{“url”:”//s2.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302422655u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8806I”,”title”:”Self propelled artillery roll pass during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang”,”caption”:”Self propelled artillery roll pass during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. 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REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui”},{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302422661u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8806M”,”title”:”People carry flags in front of statues of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung (L) and late leader Kim Jong Il during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang”,”caption”:”People carry flags in front of statues of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung (L) and late leader Kim Jong Il during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui”},{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302422656u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8806J”,”title”:”Soldiers ride a multiple rocket launcher during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang”,”caption”:”Soldiers ride a multiple rocket launcher during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui”},{“url”:”//s3.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?mu003d02u0026du003d20180909u0026tu003d2u0026iu003d1302422657u0026ru003dLYNXNPEE8806K”,”title”:”A soldier salutes as he rides a tank during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang”,”caption”:”A soldier salutes as he rides a tank during a military parade marking the 70th anniversary of North Koreau0027s foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018. 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