North Korea holds celebratory military parade - minus the missiles

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A State Department official confirmed Saturday that Pompeo has letter from Kim for Trump.

Unlike some past shows, however, Sunday's imagery largely left out any anti-American themes, though one portion compared worldwide sanctions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs to waves crashing against the country.

But on Sunday, almost half of the military parade was devoted to showcasing civilian efforts to build the country's economy, the Associated Press reported.

Airplanes forming the number 70 fly in formation and fire flares during a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

This November 29, 2017, file image provided by the North Korean government on November 30, 2017, shows firing of what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

But that has been dropped this year, underlining Kim's stated aim for denuclearising the Korean peninsula and his recent meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Grace Liu, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, said the low-key parade appeared to be aimed at maintaining a "relatively civil dialogue" with Seoul and Washington, especially given Moon's impending visit next week.

A North Korea "civic group" has disclosed a statement urging the withdrawal of US forces from the peninsula. "We will both prove everyone wrong!" he tweeted.

But given what we have seen in the past few days, the emphasis has been far more on economic development, science and technology, and modernization.

"The Chinese Party and government took seriously (our) friendly, cooperative relationship with North Korea".

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Despite no agreement yet between Pyongyang and Washington on the denuclearization process the two agreed to at their landmark Singapore summit in June, and with Pyongyang demanding the USA agree to a peace treaty to end the 1950-53 Korean War, there have, over the last week, been some encouraging signals.

The spectacle focused on a military parade and mass games that put leader Kim Jong Un's hopes for a stronger economy front and centre.

This year is of special historic significance for China-DPRK relations, said Li, adding that the three meetings between Xi and Kim had ushered in a new historic stage of the bilateral ties. Kim not only needs security backing from Beijing but help rebuilding his economy, which South Korea's central bank said slipped into recession in 2017.

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. "Much better than before I took office".

The North also refrained from immediately televising the event, though North Korean media were out in force to film it, deploying booms and - for possibly the first time - drones with cameras. The North Korean leader, for his part, confirmed readiness to visit Russian Federation.

But that imagery was balanced with flowers and colored balloons, floats on the economy and unification, and spectators waving flags of a unified Korea, Reuters reported.

North Korea celebrated its 70th birthday on Sunday with a lavish parade in Pyongyang.

In April Kim declared that the North's development of nuclear weapons had been completed and "socialist economic construction" would be the new strategic priority.

The mass games performances are expected to continue for the next month or so, with tickets for foreigners starting at just over $100 and going up to more than $800 per seat. He claims to have perfected his nuclear arsenal enough to deter U.S. aggression and devote his resources to raising the standard of living.

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