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North Korea Celebrates 70th Birth Anniversary

Pyongyang (September 09, 2010):  North Korea celebrated its 70th anniversary on Sunday with a parade featuring tens of thousands of soldiers, along with columns of tanks and heavy artillery, but notably did not show off the intercontinental ballistic missiles that are believed to be capable to hit the United States.  

Much of the parade was dedicated to civilian efforts to boost the economy. The absence of nuclear-capable missile systems was seen as a conciliatory gesture during a period of intense diplomatic outreach and negotiation.The celebration saw dozens of military vehicles and goose-stepping soldiers parade past leader Kim Jong Un in the center of the capital, Pyongyang, as cheering crowds watched on.

Kim reviewed the procession from a balcony in Kim Il Sung Square, alongside other senior officials, including Li Zhanshu, a special envoy sent by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Kim and Li locked hands and raised arms at the end of the event.The parade was split into two sections, civilian and military. The military portion featured thousands of soldiers wearing uniforms from different periods of North Korea’s history, dating back from 1948 through to the present day.In a break from recent tradition, Kim did not speak at the event. The country’s ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam, addressed the audience, telling soldiers to prepare simultaneously to fight a war but also be ready to battle for economic development.The theme of the parade appeared overwhelmingly focused on economic development and improving the lives of the North Korean people.

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