North Korea holds rally after congress

A float, with slogans on it in Korean, travels through a sea of people waving coloured decorations in Pyongyang's main ceremonial squareImage copyright

Image caption

The event was held in Pyongyang’s main ceremonial square

Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans have joined a rally marking the end of the Workers’ Party Congress, the first in 36 years.

The congress cemented the position of leader Kim Jong-un, elevating him to the role of party chairman.

It also endorsed the national policy of building nuclear capability alongside economic development.

On Monday, a BBC team was expelled from the country for reporting which angered the authorities.

Correspondent Rupert Wingfield-Hayes was detained on Friday and interrogated for eight hours, before being made to sign a statement of apology.

The BBC said it was disappointed by the decision.

Image copyright

Image caption

Party slogans were spelt out by the huge crowd in the square

Image copyright

Image caption

Mr Kim replaced the western suit he wore at the congress, with the more traditional uniform of North Korean leaders, for the parade

At the rally in Pyongyang on Tuesday, Mr Kim was seen waving to the crowds and chatting with military and party officials.

Hundreds of thousands of people marched through the square waving pink paper flowers, coloured balloons and red party flags. Floats were also moved through the square, some of them carrying mock-ups of missiles.

An unusually large number of foreign journalists was also at the rally. More than 100 have been granted visas to cover the congress, although only a few were, briefly, allowed into the gathering while it was meeting.

China has sent a message of congratulations to the North Korean leader on his new position, but declined to send a representative to the gathering.

Analysts suggested this may be because of unhappiness with recent indications Pyongyang is preparing to conduct its fifth nuclear test.

The congress also launched a new five-year plan for the economy, which has been hit by some of its strongest sanctions yet after the country’s recent nuclear and rocket tests.

And Mr Kim used a speech to say the North would not use its nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty was threatened.

comments powered by Disqus