North Korea holds colourful mass rally to close rare congress

North Korea holds colourful mass rally to close rare congress

North Korea holds colourful mass rally to close rare congress

Written by Staff Writer

10 May, 2016 | 12:07 pm

North Korea wrapped up the first meeting of the ruling party congress in 36 years with a massive parade in Pyongyang as Kim Jong Un solidified his political rule of the isolated country.

The parade was reminiscent of the October military parade to mark the party’s 70th anniversary, but conspicuously missing were tanks, missiles and rifle touting soldiers.

At the rally in Pyongyang on Tuesday, Mr Kim was seen waving to the crowds and chatting with military and party officials.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through the square waving pink paper flowers, coloured balloons and red party flags. Floats were also moved through the square, some of them carrying mock-ups of missiles.

During the four-day congress, North Korea said it would continue to expand its nuclear arsenal, in defiance of United Nations sanctions, but said it would only use them if it was threatened with nuclear weapons.

Kim also set a five-year plan to revive isolated North Korea’s creaking economy, although it was short on targets and the party enshrined Kim’s “Byongjin” policy of simultaneous pursuit of nuclear weapons and economic development.

North Korea had been engaged in a 70-day campaign of accelerated productivity in the run-up to the congress, including a sprucing-up of the capital.

Kim has been trying to distance himself from his father’s military first policy and has used the congress as a way to underscore the influence of the party

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