North Korea hold mass rally after rare party conference concludes

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

By REUTERS
May 10, 2016 08:02
1 minute read.
Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader

Kim Jong-un, North Korea leader. (photo credit: KNS / KCNA / AFP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over a mass rally and parade on Tuesday in the capital's main ceremonial square, a day after the ruling party wrapped up its first congress in 36 years by elevating him to party chairman.

The rally, which was telecast live on the North's state-run television KRT, showed Kim watching thousands of North Korean people marching with flags of the ruling party and making formations in Kim Il Sung Square, named after the founder of the nation and Kim Jong Un's grandfather.

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Kim also waved vigorously to the crowd and chatted, smiling, with military and party aides from the reviewing stand.

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.

For Tuesday's tightly choreographed event, Kim traded the western-style suit worn during the congress for the more traditional uniform of North Korean leaders, a dark jacket buttoned to the collar, and was flanked on a viewing platform by top military and party officials.

Early Tuesday, North Korea's official news agency KCNA carried a message of congratulations to Kim from Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday for the promotion at the party congress.



Relations between North Korea and its main ally China have become frosty over Beijing's growing frustration over North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons, and China backed tough new UN Security Council sanctions in March in response to the North's January nuclear test, its fourth.


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