North Korea shelves long-range missiles in military parade celebrating country’s founding

September 9, 2018

North Korea’s arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose development has stoked the fears of Pyongyang’s neighbors and the international community, were conspicuously absent during a massive military parade on Sunday.

The parade, held in North Korea’s capital in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the communist country’s founding, has traditionally been an opportunity for regime leaders to showcase its burgeoning long-range, nuclear-capable missile arsenal on the world stage.

Aside from the lack of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the parade, regime leader Kim Jong-un also refrained from carrying out any long-range missile tests, which have also accompanied the anniversary parade in the past. The noticeable lack of nuclear saber-rattling by Pyongyang comes as the country remains under extreme pressure from the U.S. and its allies to abandon their nuclear ambitions.

The broad outlines for North Korean denuclearization were set during June’s historic summit between Mr. Kim and the Trump administration. Both leaders reportedly set the initial parameters for denuclearization, in exchange for efforts to reintegrate Pyongyang into the international community. However, since the summit, bilateral talks between North Korea and Washington have faltered, with Mr. Trump cancelling the latest round of talks, which thus far have been led by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

However, the Kim regime has continued denuclearization talks with South Korea an China. Representatives from both nations were in attendance during Sunday’s parade.

“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,” said Mr. Kim, Reuters reported based on Chinese state news outlets.

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