Tens of thousands of citizens lined the streets as a military parade featuring armored vehicles, heavy artillery, missiles and thousands of goose-stepping troops rolled regally across Pyongyang's Kim Il-sung Square Sunday as the country celebrated its 70 anniversary in style.
The U.S.'s newly appointed special representative for North Korea, former Ford Motor Co. executive Steve Biegun, was due to arrive in the region Monday. "We will both prove everyone wrong!" There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other.
US and North Korean generals met Friday in the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss the next steps, a spokesman said, more than a month after 55 cases said to contain the remains of USA servicemembers were repatriated.
Unlike his predecessor Kim Jong-il, the current North Korean leader has never been to Russian Federation.
Floats on unification also passed by a throng of North Koreans waving unified Korea flags.
The economic theme was also prominent in the new mass games routine, which was markedly lighter in tone and more entertaining than in previous years, when it tended to be more dramatic and overtly political.
Yet this year, following Kim's multi-polar charm offensive - which some pundits believe is a desperate strategy to break out of his global isolation, while others believe it is a a natural progression now that he has essentially finalized his nuclear deterrent - Kim and Xi have met three times.
Kim visited the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, where his father and grandfather lie embalmed, with top officials for the first time since 2012, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency.
Joint U.S. -North Korean military search teams recovered 229 caskets containing American remains from North Korea between 1996 and 2005.
This year's celebrations also marked the revival of North Korea's iconic mass games after a five-year hiatus.
"Just moments ago they put on that he said very strongly that we want to denuclearize North Korea during President Trump's tenure. just said it, just said it", Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana.
"There was no display of ICBMs, IRBMs (intermediate-range ballistic missiles), which would really not have sat well with the whole idea that North Korea is committed to ultimate demilitarization".
Kim's effort to ease tensions with President Donald Trump has stalled since their June summit in Singapore. An end-of-war declaration would only be a first step toward an eventual peace treaty, but many in Washington fear such a declaration could be used to undermine the legitimacy of the USA troop presence in South Korea.
The message from the group, that directs its propaganda mainly at the South, included a condemnation of the United States for the "most barbaric massacre" during the 1950-53 Korean War.
This November 29, 2017, file image provided by the North Korean government on November 30, 2017, shows firing of what the North Korean government calls the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, at an undisclosed location in North Korea.
Participants perform during the Arirang Mass Games in Pyongyang, North Korea, Sept. 9, 2018.
Soon after the anniversary celebrations end, Kim will meet in Pyongyang with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss ways to break the impasse over his nuclear weapons.
Tickets to this year's spectacle started at just over US$100 and went up to more than US$800 per seat.