PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — North Korea staged a huge military parade on Sunday to mark the 70th anniversary of the nation's founding as a nation, with tens of thousands of people waving brightly colored plastic bouquets as the parade began.

Pyongyang residents, who trained for months for the anniversary, held up the bouquets to spell out words and slogans.

While North Korea rolled out some of its latest tanks and marched its best-trained goose-stepping units for the parade at Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square, it held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the event to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

Leader Kim Jong Un attended the parade but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of China's parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with North Korea.

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This gallery was curated by Associated Press photo editor Wally Santana in Bangkok.