North Korea stages military parade

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PYONGYANG, (Xinhua) — The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a huge military parade Saturday afternoon on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, the national capital, marking the 70th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un, the first secretary of the WPK and first chairman of the National Defense Commission, appeared on the observation platform amid roaring applaud and cheers from the crowd.

Standing next to him was Liu Yunshan, a member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), who arrived here Friday leading a delegation for an official friendly visit to the DPRK.

Kim and Liu were flanked by senior state and army officials of DPRK, including Hwang Pyong So, director of the Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army.

In a speech before the march-past, Kim lauded the WPK as a party that is invincible and loves the people, saying the party is the organizer of all victories of the DPRK and always regards it as its objective to serve the people.

He also said the WPK places emphasis on the promising young people, adding that the party is able to always keep its vigor and vitality through the past seven decades because the youth of DPRK fulfill their missions in all sectors of building a prosperous country.

The DPRK will be built into a world military heavyweight under the leadership of the WPK, said Kim, who pledged that the DPRK has the confidence to rise up to any war moves the U.S. imperialists want, to defend the country and its people.

Dozens of phalanxes marched through the square, including infantry, cavalry and mechanized units. Kim smiled and saluted massive goose-stepping troops and spectators at the ceremony that was believed to be the largest-ever military parade in the DPRK.

A wide array of military hardware composed of tanks, multiple launch rockets and missiles with varying maximum range rolled along the parade route. Planes flew over the reviewing stand, forming a large number of “70.”

Hundreds of thousands of Pyongyang residents gathered at the main square, hailing the ruling party and the leader while waving bouquets.

Following the weaponry display which lasted more than an hour was a parade of young students, laborers and other Pyongyang residents.

Apart from resident correspondents in Pyongyang, about 150 foreign journalists were invited to cover the event. The Korean Central Television broadcast the event live.

The military parade was among a host of events in commemoration of the ruling party’s 70th founding birthday which fell on Oct. 10. At about 20:30 local time (1200 GMT) Saturday, a torch performance was given by groups of young students who marched past the square, waving torches in their hands, chanting “Invincible Party””Loyalty to Party.”

The celebratory activities will last for about a week.

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