Did North Korea’s National Parade Just Signal a New Stage of Détente?
The "Hermit Kingdom's" latest military display was notably devoid of long-range nuclear missiles.
On the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding, the nation’s celebratory parade in Pyongyang raised eyebrows from national security experts about what it didn’t show off. Notably absent from the typical displays of “Hermit Kingdom” military might on Sunday were any long-range ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear payload. The previous two military parades in Pyongyang this year both showed off at least one ICBM weapon. By contrast, the parade’s marked emphasis on economic development suggested that the rogue nation could be taking seriously its proffered olive branches of diplomacy toward South Korea and the United States.
“The restrained display strongly suggests an interest in continuing talks,” Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, told the Wall Street Journal.
Just last week, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with a delegation of South Korean officials and claimed to be committed to the goal of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. However, as a reminder of the often opaque and mercurial nature of North Korean foreign policy, the country’s state media also blasted the U.S. in recent days as only paying “lip service” to the goal of peace and claimed the the U.S. has broken the promises made by President Donald Trump during the Singapore Summit in June.
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