Pres. Trump: North Korea Parade Is 'A Big And Very Positive Statement'

N Korea holds military parade without advanced missiles

N Korea holds military parade without advanced missiles

The North is attempting to ease tensions with the U.S., following the historic summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year in Singapore.

Workers with paint brushes and brooms put the final touches on Pyongyang's iconic Kim Il Sung Square as North Korea prepared for what promises to be its biggest celebration in years on Sunday - the 70th anniversary of the country's official birth as a nation.

The non-provocative nature of the display earned a tweet from Trump, who called it a "big and very positive statement from North Korea".

He also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un helped "prove everyone wrong through good dialogue between two people that like each other".

Since I and the ABC News crew have been here, we have been with a government guide at all times, and can only go where they choose to take us.

The anniversary is a major occasion in the North and is being marked with a series of events expected to include a military parade and the return of the "Mass Games" - unique acrobatic shows that are staged on a vast scale.

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As the country launches a "new era" of reconciliation and worldwide engagement, Sunday's premiere in Pyongyang was the first Mass Games in five years and was a major part of a carefully choreographed weekend of events created to highlight Kim's diplomatic campaign and plans for economic development.

In April, Kim said economic development would be the country's focus as he visited farms, construction sites and various factories prodding industrial growth.

In his congratulatory messages, Chinese leader Xi said China is pursuing an "unshakable policy" to enhance relations with North Korea. Kim got to the bargaining table in part by vowing not to resume nuclear tests, and he could use peace talks to legitimize his regime and get worldwide sanctions relaxed.

The economic theme was also prominent in the new mass games routine, which was markedly lighter in tone and more entertaining than in previous years, when it tended to be more dramatic and overtly political. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was proclaimed on September 9, 1948, three years after Moscow and Washington divided the peninsula between them in the closing days of the Second World War.

Analysts closely watched for pronouncements by Kim that could suggest a new challenge to the USA or a willingness to compromise.

The spectacle, months in the making, will center on a military parade and mass games that will likely put both advanced missiles and leader Kim Jong Un's hopes for a stronger economy front and center.

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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.

Mr Li had travelled to North Korea as a special envoy of President Xi.

The DPRK is carrying out the new strategic line and focusing on the development of economy, said Kim, adding that his country expects to learn from China and further expand exchanges and cooperation in different fields so as to jointly promote the socialist course in both countries.

Despite the absence of ICBMs and Kim's speech, South Korean intelligence officials said Sunday's parade involved the participation of more soldiers than in February.

Among the guests at the parade were the head of China's parliament, Li Zhanshu, and Russia's upper house speaker Valentina Matvienko, who met Kim prior to the celebrations.

Last year's 69th anniversary was precipitated by the nation's sixth nuclear bomb test. A parade float at the event displayed a slogan of "All our might to build economy!" according to Reuters.

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