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

Posted September 10, 2018

"North Korea has the economic problems and there are people unhappy with that".

But US spy agencies reported evidence in July that North Korea is still developing long-range missiles.

Step in the right direction: Korean People's Army soldiers march during a mass rally on Kim Il Sung square in Pyongyang yesterday.

"North Korea has just staged their parade, celebrating 70th anniversary of founding, without the customary display of nuclear missiles", Trump wrote on his Twitter account on Sunday, Efe news reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands prior to their meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

"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".

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

The mass games involve tens of thousands of people holding up placards or dancing in precise unison and are meant to be a display of national unity.

A senior Russian official who met Kim Jong Un this weekend cited the North Korean leader as saying he did not plan any unilateral steps to denuclearize and was instead awaiting a US response to steps he already took, Russia's RIA news agency reported.

Soon after the Sunday celebrations end, Kim will once again meet in Pyongyang with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss ways to break the impasse over his nuclear weapons.

Before this year, the "blood-forged" alliance between Korean War allies China and North Korea had been looking shaky. "Much better than before I took office", Mr Trump tweeted. Their images have mostly been done with mosaics and are featured in the hallways of most government buildings.

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Kim observed the event along with Chinese leader Xi Jinping's envoy Li Zhanshu, but he did not deliver a speech to the public.

But you could see changes from years ago. They were bussed to a cosmetics factory and a very well-funded cooperative - and not very representative - farm on the outskirts of the capital.

Kim Jong Un and his South Korean counterpart Moon will meet in Pyongyang on September 18-20 for the third time this year and discuss "practical measures" towards denuclearisation, officials in Seoul have said.

Part Olympic opening ceremony, part Super Bowl halftime show, the games were relaunched by Kim after a five-year hiatus.

Both the Mass Games and the military parade have been criticised by human rights advocates and North Korean defectors for the pressure placed on performers and for painting a distorted picture of the country through stage-managed displays.

The event was held in May Day stadium, the largest stadium in the world with a capacity to hold 150,000 people.

Kim Jong-un took over as the third in the Kim line after the death of his father, Kim Jong-il in 2011.

US intelligence reportedly estimates that the North Koreans are on track to create five to eight new weapons this year, figures apace with the average of six weapons a year that they were constructing before the Trump-Kim summit.

When the video was shown of Kim and Moon meeting, the crowd erupted in cheers.

The traditional friendship created and nurtured by the the older generations of leaders of both countries has been the most valuable treasure, Kim said.