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

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (pahm-PAY'-oh) has received the letter that President Donald Trump has said he was expecting from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (kim jawng oon). In this regard, China and Russian Federation should fully cooperate with global sanctioning efforts and push North Korea to abide by the denuclearization obligations it agreed to in 1992.

"Kim Jong-un of North Korea proclaims 'unwavering faith in President Trump.' Thank you to Chairman Kim".

This comes in marked contrast to similar events in April previous year and in February, which saw the North display both its Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15 ICBMs.

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 a year ago.

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.

Mr 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.

North Korea will be staging a major military parade, huge rallies and reviving its iconic mass games on Sunday to mark its 70th anniversary as a nation.

North Korean military choir members sing during an evening gala on Saturday. Floats on unification passed by a throng of North Koreans waving unified Korea flags.

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The theme for the celebrations this year was unifying the Korean peninsula, divided since the 1950-53 Korean War.

On Thursday, a high-level South Korean delegation returning from direct talks with Kim in Pyongyang said that the North Korean ruler aimed to denuclearize completely within Trump's first term and South Korea's national security council chief Chung Eui-yong said the young ruler "particularly emphasized that he has never said anything negative about President Trump", according to Reuters.

"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.

The "new line" of putting economic development first has been Kim's top priority this year.

On Friday, North Korea's official KCNA news agency quoted a statement from the obscure Anti-Imperialist National Democratic Front (AINDF) denouncing the presence of USA forces in South Korea and calling them the "chieftain of aggression and division, and root cause of misfortune and pain".

The games, called "Glorious Country" this year, feature thousands of North Koreans working in precise unison in the stands to create giant, elaborate pictures by flipping colored cards while thousands more perform gymnastic or dance routines in the playing field area.

While ticket prices for past Mass Games topped out at 300 euros ($350), this year VIP seats cost 800 euros, said Simon Cockerell, general manager for the Koryo Tours agency.

"The United States shouldn't delay any further an end-of-war declaration, which the USA president promised at the Singapore summit", the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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