SEOUL (AFP) – North Korea held its second mass military parade in little more than a month Monday, with leader Kim Jong-Un presiding over the display of goose-stepping troops, marching bands and light weaponry.
At the start of the ceremony, tens of thousands of troops gathered in tight formation in Pyongyang's Kim Il-Sung square, with hundreds of thousands more civilians in the background carrying brightly coloured flowers in the pattern of a giant national flag.
Kim's arrival on the viewing platform with senior party and military officials was greeted with the usual thunderous applause and cries of "Mansei" ("Long Live").
It was the second such parade in little more than a month, but unlike July 27 -- the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War -- there was relatively little military hardware on display, with no drive-by of tank units or long-range missiles.
Some rocket launchers were included among the goose-stepping formations of men and women soldiers, but otherwise the event was dominated by wave after wave of patriotic floats, giant portraits of the leadership and flag- and flower-waving civilians.
Speeches from the podium were more celebratory than aggressive, while still calling for the military to retain a "tight war posture, safeguard the leadership and remain loyal to Kim Jong-Un."
Pyongyang celebrates September 9, 1948 as the founding day of the DPRK, or Democratic People's Republic of Korea
The parade came amid an easing of tensions between North and South Korea who were on a virtual war-footing just a few months ago following the North's third nuclear test in February.
On Friday, the North reconnected a military hotline to the South that was cut at the height of the tensions earlier this year.