PYONGYANG — North Korea has marked the 75th anniversary of its founding day with a parade attended by Russian diplomats and a Chinese delegation.
The Friday event in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square featured uniformed paramilitary brigades.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a Russian military song-and-dance ensemble and officials from Beijing were all in attendance.
The event follows rumors that Mr Kim might meet Vladimir Putin this month.
It is understood Kim is planning to travel to Russia to discuss with the Russian president the possibility of North Korea providing Moscow with weapons to support its war in Ukraine.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on the matter when asked by a journalist in Moscow on Saturday, according to the Interfax news agency.
In a message to congratulate Kim on the 75th anniversary of North Korea’s founding, Putin said he was convinced the two countries would “continue to strengthen bilateral ties on all fronts”.
He said this would help ensure “the security and stability on the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia”.
Putin noted that the Soviet Union was the first country to recognize the North Korean regime.
He said that relations between the two countries had since been based “on the principles of friendship, good neighborliness and mutual respect”.
The Russian embassy in Pyongyang said earlier this week it had been allowed to bring in 20 diplomatic and technical staff.
The official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim Il Sung Square “was full of excitement and joy” and all those who attended the parade “paid the highest glory and warmest thanks to Kim Jong Un, peerless patriot and ever-victorious iron-willed commander”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping “extended congratulations in a call to Kim Jong Un” on the anniversary, Chinese state media reported.
A Chinese delegation led by Liu Guozhong, vice-premier of the State Council, attended the parade instead and met with Kim.
The event featured paramilitary forces rather than soldiers in the regular army and it did not showcase the country’s banned weaponry which include ballistic missiles, according to state media. — BBC