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


Some tanks carried traditional slogans calling on the army to "Destroy the U.S. Imperialist Aggressor, the sworn enemy of the DPRK".

US President Donald Trump's threats of "fire and fury" and North Korea's pledge to turn the US into a "sea of fire" however never materialised - and now Trump and Kim seem to be buddies.

"North Korea upholds the consensus of the Singapore meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States and has taken steps for it and hopes the United States takes corresponding steps, to jointly promote the political resolution process for the peninsula issue", the report paraphrased Mr Kim as saying.

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.

Kim Jong Un did not, however, address the crowd assembled in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square.

North Korea rolled out some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained goose-stepping units through Kim Il Sung Square in a major military parade on Sunday to mark its 70th anniversary, but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted almost half of the event to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

Despite no agreement yet between Pyongyang and Washington on the denuclearization process the two agreed to at their landmark Singapore summit in June, and with Pyongyang demanding the United States agree to a peace treaty to end the 1950-53 Korean War, there have, over the last week, been some encouraging signals. Washington's Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun has arrived in South Korea on Monday afternoon for his first diplomatic trip.

Pyongyang brought the world terrifyingly close to war previous year as Kim fired missile after missile and detonated a hydrogen bomb.

But this time there was no real trace of the country's nuclear weapons program that has been characteristic of past parades, including one before the Winter Olympics in February.

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Kim will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in the coming weeks to discuss a path toward denuclearization.

Recalling his three meetings with Xi, Kim said he felt in person the valuable and warm DPRK-China friendship, adding that the DPRK will firmly carry on and do its best to develop the friendship no matter how the worldwide situation changes.

This year's celebrations also mark the revival of North Korea's iconic mass games after a five-year hiatus.

It earmarked what appeared to be a new era in the relationship between Pyongyang and Washington, but the North has been accused of secretly continuing its nuclear programme.

In April Kim declared that the North's development of nuclear weapons had been completed and "socialist economic construction" would be the new strategic priority.

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 first of the three Kims was best known, after the war, for his "juche" or self-reliance philosophy.

There were also no nuclear tests to mark the day, as has happened in each of the last two years. His core policy line was "Songeun", or military first.

Also, the chairs and benches where Kim Jong Un had sat are now encased in glass. While his current focus is on global diplomacy and domestic economic development, he commands both a nuclear arsenal and an intercontinental ballistic missile force.