No missile in N Korea’s military parade
Published : Sunday, 9 September, 2018 at 11:18 AM Count : 483
North Korea on Sunday held a military parade without showing any intercontinental ballistic missiles to mark its 70th birthday.
Troops, artillery and tanks made their way past leader Kim Jong Un in the centre of Pyongyang, but the largest missiles shown were short-range battlefield devices, an AFP reporter on scene witnessed.
Kim reviewed the military parade from a balcony overlooking Kim Il-sung Square, the central Pyongyang area named after his grandfather and North Korea’s founder. However, he did not use the occasion to deliver a public speech, South China Morning Post reports.
It was North Korea’s first military parade since leader Kim and US President Donald Trump held their historic summit meeting in June in Singapore.
But Kim’s effort to ease tensions with Trump have stalled since their summit. Both sides are now insisting on a different starting point.
Washington wants Kim to commit to denuclearisation first, but Pyongyang wants its security guaranteed and a peace agreement formally ending the Korean war.
North Korea may have wanted to refrain from including its ICBMs in the parade to avoid irritating the United States, a diplomatic source said.
In a thinly veiled threat at Washington during the February parade, Pyongyang displayed what appeared to be ICBMs like the Hwasong-15, a weapon capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to any city on the US mainland.
In talks with special envoys of South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday in Pyongyang, Kim reiterated his commitment to achieving denuclearisation on the Korean Peninsula, Seoul said.
Kim has recently pledged to bolster the nation’s economy instead of developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
North Korea has also agreed to hold a summit meeting between Moon and Kim in Pyongyang on September 18-20, the South Korean government said.
Foreign senior officials such as Li Zhanshu, the third-highest ranking official in the ruling Communist Party of China, and Valentina Matvienko, chairwoman of the Russian Federation Council, attended the parade.
Around 140 foreign journalists have been allowed to cover the events related to North Korea’s founding anniversary, including the military parade in the heart of the capital and a display of games in the city’s May Day Stadium.