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

N Korea holds military parade without advanced missiles

Kim attended the morning parade but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of the Chinese parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with the North. "We will both prove everyone wrong!" he tweeted.

Mr Trump thanked "Chairman Kim" and said: "There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other".

There was no sign of the Hwasong-14 and -15 missiles that can reach the mainland US and changed the strategic balance when they were first tested previous year.

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.

Washington is seeking the "final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea", while Pyongyang has only publicly affirmed its commitment to working towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, a euphemism open to interpretation on both sides.

Numerous tanks and other vehicles at the parade still bore a slogan on the front: "Destroy the U.S. imperialist aggressors, the sworn enemy of the DPRK people!"

Yet this year, following Kim's multi-polar charm offensive - which some pundits believe is a desperate strategy to break out of his worldwide isolation, while others believe it is a a natural progression now that he has essentially finalized his nuclear deterrent - Kim and Xi have met three times.

In the letter, President Xi hailed Mr Kim's "focused efforts to develop the economy and improve people's livelihood" through his "new strategic line".

North Korea on Sunday kicked off a huge propaganda festival, featuring enormous co-ordinated displays unlike anything else in the world.

Mr Kim told the envoy that North Korea was focusing on economic development and hopes to learn from China's experience in this regard, Chinese state television reported.

But that has lessened this year, underlining Kim's stated aim for denuclearising 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.

"Just moments ago they put on that he said very strongly that we want to denuclearize North Korea during President Trump's tenure. just said it, just said it", Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana.

North Korea has long used parades to display the strength of its military, having most recently held one of February of this year.

North Korea was founded in 1948, after the peninsula had been divided by great power fiat at the end of World War II, prior to which it was a Japanese colony.

The parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea began with ranks of soldiers, followed by tanks, trucks carrying rocket launchers and heavy artillery.

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

Floats on unification passed by a throng of North Koreans waving unified Korea flags. The statement contrasted with Kim's remarks to visiting South Korean envoys Wednesday, when he said that declaring peace wouldn't require American troops to leave.

Chung met with Kim this week in Pyongyang.

And the issue of nuclear-armed North Korea will most likely not be the main topic in Vladivostok, said Andrei Lankov, a historian at Seoul's Kookmin University. The Arirang Mass Games are an elaborate propaganda spectacle with enormous co-ordinated displays.

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