Denuclearisation: N Korea dumps nukes from parade; draws Trump kudos

Hugh Fox
September 10, 2018

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.

"There was no display of ICBMs, IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles), which would really not have sat well with the whole idea that North Korea is committed to ultimate demilitarization". We will both prove everyone wrong!

For global consumption at least, Kim Jong-un's flagship "Byungjin" policy line, which focused on joint development of the economy and strategic weapons, has been watered down, with the focus now shifting to economic progress and downplaying the arms.

Last year, North Korea displayed its long-range missiles for the world to see, unnerving the White House and prompting a fiery exchange of insults from both sides, leaving many fearing war.

The circumstances might have prompted Kim to demonstrate a "different attitude" from the North's previous military parades, through which the country has stunned the world with advanced ballistic missiles and bellicose rhetoric, analysts say. Trump tweeted. "There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other!"

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had also confirmed on Saturday that he had received a letter from Kim for President Donald Trump.

Kim has reiterated his commitment to dismantle his atomic weapons program, with officials of his government adding that that should occur during Trump's first term in office, which is scheduled to end in January 2021.

China's top legislator voiced hope that North Korea and the United States will implement their nuclear summit agreement as he met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese state media said Monday (Sep 10).

The parade allowed Kim to highlight themes of military accomplishment, national development, and global engagement at a time when doubts are arising over his commitment to abandoning nuclear weapons.

But talks between North Korea and the USA have stalled despite their first-ever summit in Singapore in April.

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Participants perform Mass Games at May Day stadium marking the 70th anniversary of North Korea's foundation in Pyongyang, North Korea, September 9, 2018.

After a truncated parade featuring tanks and some of its biggest artillery, fewer than the usual number of missiles and lots of goose-stepping units from all branches of the military, the focus switched to civilian groups ranging from nurses to students to construction workers, many with colorful floats beside them.

North Korea's state-run media published Friday what it said was an "indictment" by its South Korean wing, denouncing US forces on the peninsula and calling their withdrawal "the irresistible trend of the times".

The guide said Kim Jung Un "appreciates lovely women and wants North Korean women to be the most attractive of all".

The anniversary is a major occasion in the North and is being marked with a series of events expected to include a military parade and the return of the "Mass Games" - unique acrobatic shows that are staged on a vast scale. This spectacle of human art, in which thousands of carefully drilled performers hold up colored placards that, in combination, create a series of shifting images, is a flagship specialty of North Korea.

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The parade comes at a sensitive time in the region. Ticket sales to tourists from China and Europe are reportedly brisk despite prices that start at 100 euros and go all the way up to 800 euros for VIP seating. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter United States aggression and devote his resources to raising the standard of living.

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