PYONGYANG, Oct 10 : Isolated North Korea marked the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party on Saturday with a massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said his country was ready to fight any war waged by the United States.
Thousands of troops stood at attention under a blue autumn sky in Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim Jong Un's grandfather and the founder of the nation, as Kim, appearing relaxed and confident, made his speech, leaning heavily on the lectern. The young leader was accompanied by senior Chinese Communist Party official Liu Yunshan, with whom he was seen speaking throughout the event and occasionally shared laughs, and flanked by senior North Korean party and military officials.
"The party's revolutionary armament means we are ready to fight any kind of war waged by the U.S. imperialists," Kim said in a speech strikingly more forceful than previous public comments, praising the feats of past leaders and the ruling party.
He made no direct mention of the country's nuclear programme, likely a conciliatory diplomatic gesture towards China, which hosted the now-defunct "six-party talks", also involving the United States, on giving economic incentives to Pyongyang in return for scrapping its atomic ambitions.
On Wednesday, a high-level U.S. military official said Washington believed North Korea had the capability to launch a nuclear weapon against the U.S. mainland and stood ready to defend against any such attacks. ? REUTERS