North Koreans hold mass rally after ruling party congress

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (center) waves from a balcony of the Grand Peopl’s Study House during a mass rally held to mark the end of the 7th Workers Party Congress on May 10, 2016. ©AFP

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have held a massive rally and parade in the capital Pyongyang to mark the end of the ruling party’s first congress in over three decades.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over the large demonstration, which was held on Tuesday in Pyongyang’s main ceremonial square.
Standing on a platform by top military and party officials, the leader was seen waving to the crowds.
During the events, people were holding flags of the ruling Workers’ Party to mark the end of its four-day congress that promoted Kim as the party’s chairman.
The 7th party congress is the first of its kind in 36 years and also the first during Kim’s, who came to power in late 2011 following the sudden death of his father Kim Jong-il.
During the congress, Kim pledged to simultaneously expand its nuclear weapons capability “in quality and quantity.”
He said the arsenal would only be used if North is threatened with nuclear arms. He also set a five-year plan to revive the economy. 

North Koreans celebrate during a massive rally and parade in Pyongyang’s main ceremonial square on May 10, 2016. ©Reuters

On Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message to extend his congratulations to Kim on his new title of Workers’ Party chairman.
The president wrote that China stands ready to work for further improvements in bilateral relations and to make “positive contributions to safeguarding peace, stability and development in the region.”
China, however, has criticized Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile tests and endorsed new United Nations Security Council sanctions against it back in March.
The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved the toughest sanctions on in two decades over its missile and nuclear tests.
Pyongyang launched a long-range rocket in February, which according to Pyongyang was aimed at placing an earth observation satellite into orbit.
However, Washington and Seoul described the practice as a cover for an intercontinental ballistic missile test.
North Korea has vowed to develop a nuclear arsenal in an effort to protect itself from the US military, which occasionally deploys nuclear-powered warships and aircraft capable of carrying atomic weapons in the region.
Washington also holds joint military maneuvers with Seoul, which Pyongyang views as preparations for war and a direct threat against its security.

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