Military parade is good sign for U.S.-North Korea relations
North Korea had a military parade celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding, and what was in it – or, rather, what wasn’t in it – could bode well for nuclear deal talks with the United States. What was missing? The country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles.
ICBMs have been a prominent feature in previous such events, but this time around, they weren’t. The two-hour parade included what the New York Times described as “conventional weaponry,” including tanks, artillery pieces, and multiple-rocket launchers, but ICBMs and references to North Korea’s nuclear power were left out. The parade appeared to be more focused on economic growth.
That’s in keeping with a shift North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced in April: Having successfully built a nuclear deterrent, he said, the country could focus on economic growth and scientific development. Kim reiterated that over the weekend, telling Chinese special envoy parliament chief Li Zhanshu that North Korea wants to learn from China on that front, according to Reuters. It’s a shift that both normalizes the country’s nuclear arsenal and reduces the risk of provoking further tension with the US.
“North Korea upholds the consensus of the Singapore meeting between the leaders of North Korea and the United States and has taken steps for it and hopes the United States takes corresponding steps, to jointly promote the political resolution process for the peninsula issue,” Chinese state television reported Kim said, paraphrasing him.