No ICBM, Kim speech at North Korea military parade

N Korea holds military parade without advanced missiles

North Korea's leader presided Sunday over a huge military parade, marking the North's 70th anniversary.

Taking to Twitter to celebrate, Trump quoted a Fox News statement that North Korea passed on showing the missiles this year to demonstrate to him "its commitment to denuclearize", something which has been highly suspect at best.

Before the event, experts speculated that North Korea may choose not to display the weapons to avoid antagonizing US President Donald Trump.

Sunday's military parade took place in Pyongyang at a "similar time frame" to February's military parade. 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.

Kim attended the morning parade but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of the Chinese parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with the North.

This year's celebration also marks a return of North Korea's Mass Games, which involve tens of thousands of people dancing in unison in a display of national unity.

Washington wants Pyongyang to move decisively toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program, but North Korea insists it first wants a declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is over, as a way of helping guarantee its security and build trust.

"The DPRK has evolved into a strong military power, based on our party's efforts to fundamentally block the outside world's threats of attack and invasion against our country", he said, cited by NK News, in a speech mainly focused on the economy.

As it prepared for the celebrations, the Government reportedly stopped issuing tourist visas, and North Korean authorities blocked Chinese tour groups from visiting, saying all the hotels in the capital were being renovated.

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

"Now that Kim and Trump have pledged to trust and respect each other, Kim wants to come off as a trustworthy and considerate partner to Trump", said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at Kyungnam University's Far East Institute.

The past two big anniversaries of North Korea's founding, in 2008 and 2013, did not feature the Korean People's Army, only the civil defense units, which are officially called "Worker Peasant Red Guards".

But too militaristic a display this time might have risked upsetting the recent diplomatic dalliance on the peninsula, after Kim's Singapore meeting with Trump in June and his third summit with the South's President Moon Jae-in due in Pyongyang later this month.

That's a big departure from February's parade, when it displayed its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, believed capable of reaching the US, and a number of other formidable missiles and the erector-launchers used to fire them off from remote locations.

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".

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.

The slogans - one of which said "all efforts on economy" - are in line with Kim's new political priority outlined earlier this year before he met Trump. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter U.S. aggression and devote his resources to raising the standard of living.

Tickets to this year's spectacle started at just over US$100 and went up to more than US$800 per seat.

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