North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un has delivered a defiant message to his enemies, as the country marked the 70th anniversary of the governing Workers’ Party.
Thousands of soldiers took part in a spectacular parade through Pyongyang as the country displayed its military hardware to the world.
In a speech that was interrupted several times by applause, Kim told the crowd: “Our revolutionary force is ready to respond to any kind of war the American imperialists want.
“Through the line of Songun (military-first) politics, our Korean People’s Army has become the strongest revolutionary force and our country has become an impenetrable fortress and a global military power.”
After their leader’s speech, thousands of soldiers held up colored cards to spell out “Songun politics” and “Defending our homeland.”
It was anticipated the parade would begin around 10am Pyongyang time, but even by late morning, as a light rain fell, officials had not distributed a final schedule – unusual in North Korea.
No world leaders attended the parade – North Korean ally China sent Liu, a senior Communist Party official, not its head of state.
However, the normally isolated North Korean capital has seen an influx of tourists, international media and delegations ranging from North Koreans living abroad to Russian and Mongolian groups studying the country’s political ideas.
There had been a suggestion North Korea could use the occasion to launch a missile test, although that is doubtful now.
Any move would almost certainly be met with a reaction from Washington and that would probably mean a tightening of sanctions, which have already had a considerable effect on the country.