AKIPRESS.COM - North Korea celebrated its 70th anniversary Sunday with a parade featuring tens of thousands of goose-stepping soldiers, along with columns of tanks and heavy artillery, but notably did not show off the intercontinental ballistic missiles that are thought to be capable of reaching the United States, according to reporters at the scene, The Washington Post.
The parade was more low-key than a previous parade staged in April 2017 that featured an array of ballistic missiles and exacerbated tensions with the United States.
Much of the parade was dedicated to civilian efforts to boost the economy, the Associated Press reported, underscoring a major policy shift announced by the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, earlier this year to focus on economic development. Another major theme was the reunification of the Korean Peninsula, carved into two by the Soviet Union and the United States after World War II.
The absence of nuclear-capable missile systems was seen as a conciliatory gesture during a period of intense diplomatic outreach and negotiation.
“That choice alone suggests Kim’s intention to underline the seriousness of his ‘New Strategic Line,’ announced earlier this year that privileges the country’s economic betterment after the ‘completion’ of the country’s nuclear deterrent last year,” said Ankit Panda, a strategic expert and adjunct senior fellow in the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists.