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North Korea marks 70th anniversary

Discussion in 'The NF Café' started by mr_shadow, Sep 9, 2018.

  1. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    With no long-range missiles on display, North Korea staged a military parade on Sunday focused on peace and economic development, filled with colored balloons and flowers to mark the 70th anniversary of the country's founding.

    A sea of spectators watched the parade as tens of thousands goose-stepping soldiers and columns of tanks drove past a review stand where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un took the salute.

    Unlike in previous years, there were no inter-continental missiles on display. And there were no nuclear tests to mark the day, as has happened in each of the last two years.

    North Korea routinely uses major holidays to showcase its military capabilities and the latest developments in missile technology.

    But that has been dropped this year, underlining Kim's stated aim for denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and his recent meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and summits with U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    The theme for the celebrations this year was unifying the Korean peninsula, divided since the 1950-53 Korean War. Floats on unification passed by a throng of North Koreans waving unified Korea flags.

    "All Koreans should join forces to accomplish unification in our generation. Unification is the only way Koreans can survive," said an editorial in North Korea's party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

    Kim and Moon will meet in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20 for the third time this year and discuss "practical measures" towards denuclearization, officials in Seoul have said.

    Kim was seen laughing and holding hands up with a Chinese special envoy as he oversaw the festivities at Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung square on a clear autumn day. Kim waved to the crowd before leaving but did not make any public remarks.

    North Korea has invited a large group of foreign journalists to cover a military parade and other events to mark the 70th anniversary of its founding.

    That includes iconic mass games that Pyongyang is organizing for the first time in five years, a huge, nationalist pageant performed by up to 100,000 people in one of the world's largest stadiums.

    Earlier on Sunday, Kim visited the mausoleum where his grandfather, the country’s founder, and his father lie in state, according to state media.

    A concert on Saturday night attended by the titular head of state, Kim Yong Nam, and foreign delegations featured little in the way of martial messaging or images, with only a few shadowy American bombers shown briefly in footage of the 1950-1953 Korean War.



     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2018
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  2. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    This is significant because the Soviet Union, the first and longest-lived Communist state, lasted 74 years (1917-1991).

    So if Kim is still in power by 2022 his system will have proven more enduring than that of Lenin.

    You could also say that NK is now on the same point on the timeline as the USSR was in 1987, when Gorbachev oversaw what would turn out to be the last of their decennial military parades...

    But NK is not the oldest current Communist state. Vietnam celebrated their 70th anniversary in 2015, and will overtake the Soviet Union's lifespan next year.

    (For these calculations I'm using the countries' self-proclaimed founding dates, the ones they celebrate as National Days, irrespective of how much actual control they had over their territory at that time)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  3. Kafuka Fuura 仮面の告白

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    Today is also my birthday. :umafood
     
  4. wibisana still newbie

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    Idk why it took 3 years to decide 38 pararel line
     
  5. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    The idea was never (officially) to divide the country. It happened because negotiations broke down about what kind of political system Korea should have after the Soviet and American troops withdrew.

    It was actually the Southerners who walked away first and declared a Republic of Korea on August 15. Then I suppose for the next three weeks Kim Il-sung was in panicked negotiations with Stalin over how to respond, before they reciprocated by declaring a Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north rather than join the Republic.

    But of course the fact that it was formally the South who filed the divorce papers doesn't mean the North has no blame. It could be that Kim's demands were so outrageous that Rhee Syng-man could never have accepted them.
     
  6. Yamato ANBU- Sadist

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    Glad to see change, but I wonder how long the peace will last.
     
  7. Alwaysmind 总是心神

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    Happy birthday to you all.
     
  8. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    Packed into Pyongyang's giant stadium this week with thousands of other tourists, Australian Mitchell Hamilton marvelled at the return of North Korea's “Mass Games,” a huge pageant that has produced some of the most iconic images of the isolated country.

    “My thought sitting there was that it was a show fit for a god,” Hamilton told Reuters on Tuesday atop the Juche Tower, a 560-foot (170-metre) obelisk in downtown Pyongyang. “You can’t help but get swept up in the spectacle.”

    A sobering reminder of the power of the state in North Korea, however, was the realisation that many of the thousands of performers on the field were young children.

    “What brought me back down to earth was when the kids ran out,” Hamilton said, leaning in to speak out of ear shot of the North Korean guides and minders who were accompanying both tourists and media. "It reminded me where I am."

    North Korea's first Mass Games in five years has provided a chance for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to raise foreign currency, at a time when tourism remains one of the few remaining reliable sources of income amid tough U.N. sanctions.

    Since a reduction in tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme this year, tour operators say tourism has increased.

    Exact numbers are not available, but tour operators say flights and accommodation in Pyongyang booked up so fast after the Mass Games were announced that North Korean authorities put holds on some tour groups from China.

    Thousands of children participate in the performances, either as dancers or as one of the “human pixels” who use colored flipbooks to form an ever-changing backdrop of images and slogans.

    That practice has been criticized by rights groups as tantamount to forced child labor, and testimonies collected by defector groups describe harsh training regimes.

    For this month's Mass Games, elementary, middle and high school practiced from early morning until late at night, the defector-run website Daily NK said citing an unnamed source.

    Past reports from Daily NK describe students taking bladder infection medicine due to the long hours of sitting required, while training in all weather for months.

    Beyond the sanctions over its nuclear weapons program, North Korea is an impoverished state, where some 40 percent of the population, or more than 10 million people, need humanitarian assistance and about 20 percent of children suffer from malnutrition, according to U.N. estimates.

    Under Kim’s one-man rule, the country has also been accused of widespread human rights abuses, with a U.N. report last year estimating between 80,000 and 120,000 people are held in prison camps.

    LONG WAIT

    Still, the Mass Games performances, expected to run into early October, are a major drawcard for tourists, most of whom come from China.

    “I think I’ve wanted it for like five years, or even more,” Tia Nousiainen from Finland told Reuters as she visited tourist sites in Pyongyang.

    “Since I saw the first mass games on the TV or the internet, I wanted to see them by myself. And every year, I’ve been asking the travel agency if they are arranging them, and this year, I got the answer that ‘yes,’ they are arranging it.”

    Personally attended by Kim, Sunday’s premiere at the stadium North Korea says can hold 150,000 featured new high-tech displays by glowing drone formations, lasers, and light projections.

    Thousands of dancers, gymnasts, martial artists and singers acted out scenes addressing familiar themes from North Korean propaganda.

    The show, however, dropped most of the typical anti-American themes, instead focusing on Kim Jong Un’s diplomatic engagement with international leaders.

    Joel Goh, a visitor from Singapore, said the Mass Games made him want to see for himself the country behind so many of the headlines.

    “It was a very special experience… I thought it was as good as any other show I’ve seen,” he said, adding that the scenes of Kim embracing South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their first summit in April were “quite moving.”

    “We’ve come to realize it’s a bit different from what we hear outside,” Goh said of North Korea. “It’s an amazing place. I’m not regretting my trip at all.”

     
  9. Mider T VM Zombie

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  10. Alwaysmind 总是心神

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    Communists grow up so fast. :cry
     
  11. makeoutparadise I will have my revenge

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    A country which started after a poorly communicated phone call
     
  12. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    Added video of the parade to OP. Took a while for it to get uploaded.
     
  13. Alwaysmind 总是心神

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    Greatest nation on Eart!
     
  14. mr_shadow Minister of State Security Moderator

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    I watched the whole parade.

    Tone-wise it was surprisingly similar to Vietnam's 70th anniversary parade from three years ago. Much more light-hearted than we're used to.
     
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