North Korea: Kim Jong-Un Attends Huge Parade

North Korea: Kim Jong-Un Attends Huge Parade

North Korea has staged a huge show of military strength to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

Sky News was granted rare access as the regime put on a painstakingly choreographed parade intended to rally the people behind their young ruler Kim Jong-Un.

A sea of spectators watched as goose-stepping soldiers, columns of tanks and a range of ominous-looking missiles poised on mobile launchers paraded through Pyongyang's main square.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un saluted his troops and waved from a review stand flanked by senior military officials.

As fighter jets screamed overhead, a relaxed looking Kim - who did not make a speech - smiled and talked with China's vice president Li Yuanchao.

China fought with North Korea during the war and is Pyongyang's only major ally and a crucial source of economic aid.

The parade was held to mark a holiday the North Koreans call "Victory Day in the Fatherland Liberation War," although the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce and the Korean Peninsula remains technically at war.

To commemorate the anniversary, North Korea has also staged huge mass rallies in its capital and put on elaborate fireworks shows in the past week.

As it rolled out its arsenal military helicopters, jets in formation and other warplanes did flypasts.

Later - in a departure from previous military parades - thousands of civilians also marched alongside festive floats.

Ryang Un Ho, 84, a captain in the North Korean infantry during the war who sat in the hot sun with other veterans at the square for the two-hour spectacle, said he was impressed.

He said: "After watching this parade, I feel our country could defeat anyone."

Kim Jong-Un later attended the opening of a new war museum in Pyongyang.

Kim's rule, which began in 2011 after the death of his father Kim Jong-Il, has been marked by high tensions with Washington and Seoul.

He has overseen two long-range rocket launches and a nuclear test that drew widespread condemnation and tightened UN sanctions.

North and South Korea have returned to tentative diplomacy in recent weeks, but March and April saw North Korea threaten nuclear war in response to annual South Korean-US military drills and UN condemnation of Pyongyang's third nuclear test.

In South Korea, the anniversary was marked with a speech by President Park Geun-hye, an exhibit on the war's history and a planned anti-North Korea rally.

Park vowed not to tolerate provocations from North Korea, but she also said Seoul would work on building trust with the North.

She said: "I urge North Korea to give up the development of nuclear weapons if the country is to start on a path toward true change and progress."

North Korea is estimated to have a handful of crude nuclear bombs, but many analysts don't think it has yet mastered the technology needed to build warheads small enough to fit on long-range missiles.

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