Thousands of DPRK troops participated in North Korea’s military parade at Pyongyang on Sunday to celebrate the country’s 70th birthday. On display were perfectly lined soldiers, columns of tanks and artilleries, huge colourful floats, flowers and balloons; and the only thing missing was the controversial intercontinental ballistic missiles. It seemed to be all about peace and development in the nuke-nation, and Mr Trump is all happy.
A typical military parade at North Korea would include lines of thousands of goose-stepping soldiers, tons of tanks and armours, and a proud display of nuclear missiles with echoes of chanting to praise their leader – Kim Jong un. And a typical North Korean military parade manages to send out diplomatic chills and a headline in international media for the display of a new long-distance ballistic missile they just tested. However, that was not what the country’s 70th foundation day military parade at Pyongyang on Sunday was about.
With rows of DPRK army-men, conventional tanks and weaponry – the parade was filled with beautiful floats, colourful balloons, flowers and flags while people chanted “long live the leader” and waived the flags as they passed a review stand where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sat with a special envoy from China, as well as other visiting foreigners. There were no scary inter-continental missiles on display and nor did the country schedule any nuclear tests to mark the foundation day – unlike last two years.
The omission of using holidays to showcase its prowess and latest military technologies underlines North Korea’s pursuit for denuclearisation and peace. However, it the times when Washington desperately seeks for a “final, fully verified denuclearisation of North Korea”, Pyongyang just publically attested its commitment towards peace-keeping by avoiding the o display of ICBM, IRBM missiles at the parade – a euphemism to interpretation on both sides. Perhaps this could be a sign of affirmation from North Korea, or it could be the calm before a storm – a card smartly played by the rogue nation of the Korean peninsula.