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Loads of people are waving flags and flowers for Kim Jong-Un today

The North Korean leader struck a belligerent tone at celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party.

North Koreans wave decorative flowers as they parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.
North Koreans wave decorative flowers as they parade in Pyongyang, North Korea.
Image: Maye-E WongAP/Press Association Images

NORTH KOREA TODAY kicked off a major military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers’ Party, presided over by leader Kim Jong-Un.

Wearing his customary dark Mao suit, Kim received salutes from a commander of honorary guards before inspecting thousands of soldiers taking part in the display, Pyongyang’s Korean Central TV showed.

Moments earlier, thousands of goose-stepping troops in tight formations marched into Kim Il-Sung square in the capital.

They were followed by columns of tanks, armoured vehicles and ballistic missiles, in what was tipped to be one of the largest ceremonial displays of military strength in North Korea’s history.

North Korea Anniversary Buildings surrounding the plaza were festooned with red hammer-and-sickle party flags. Source: Wong Maye-E/AP/Press Association Images

“Long live the invincible Workers Party of Korea,” read a large banner slung from a gas-filled balloon floating over the square.

Buildings surrounding the plaza were also festooned with red hammer-and-sickle party flags and North Korea’s blue, white and red national flags.

Beyond the actual parade route, the square was a sea of colour, packed with tens of thousands of men and women waving flowers and flags above their heads.

North Korea Anniversary North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un stands with visiting Chinese official Liu Yunshan during the parade. Source: Maye-E Wong/AP/Press Association Images

Defiant tone

Kim struck a more belligerent note than in previous public addresses, telling the assembled masses in Kim Il-Sung square that North Korea could fight any war begun by the US.

“Our party dauntlessly declares that our revolutionary armed forces are capable of fighting any kind of war provoked by the US and we are ready to protect our people and the blue sky of our motherland,” he said.

His words were met with rapturous applause from tens of thousands of flag-waving spectators, while above the square, a large banner slung from a gas-filled balloon read: “Long live the invincible Workers’ Party of Korea.”

North Korea Anniversary North Korean soldiers, wearing historical uniforms, march through the country's capital. Source: Wong Maye-E/AP/Press Association Images

Buildings surrounding the plaza, named after Kim’s grandfather, the founding leader of North Korea, were festooned with red hammer-and-sickle party flags and the national colours of blue, white and red.

Poor but nuclear-armed North Korea often threatens to destroy the US and South Korea, with which it technically remains at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty.

The North remains deeply politically isolated on the world stage, and its closest ally China was the only country to send a diplomat to today’s event.

© – AFP, 2015

Read: How the North and South Korea talks were sparked by loudspeakers blaring propaganda

Read: North Korea has decided to change its time zone

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