North Korea shows off achievements but not missiles

North and South Korea to hold summit in Pyongyang between September 18 and 20

At Pyongyang International Airport, Li was greeted by North Korean senior officials including Kim Yo Jong, Kim's sister and close aide, and Choe Ryong Hae, the nation's de facto No. 2 figure who is regarded as leader Kim's right-hand man.

Kim told South Korea's envoy on Wednesday that he firmly supports and will be devoted to completely removing the danger of armed conflicts and the horrors of war from the Korean Peninsula and turning it into a cradle of peace without nuclear weapons and free from any nuclear threat.

"Since we have delivered North Korea's message to the United States, we expect President Trump and USA policymakers will seriously deliberate and bring forward measures", Kim said.

Kim is also said to have stressed that his trust in US President Donald Trump remained unchanged, and that he had never negatively assessed the US president. Kim Il Sung, then 35, delivered a speech and repeatedly cheered on his military and fellow dictator Joseph Stalin.

It comes as Russian Federation had sat on the sidelines amid the row between North Korea and the USA past year which put the region at the risk of nuclear war after threats of "fire and fury".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also agreed to meet Kim in the North Korean capital on September 18-20, the first such trip in 11 years. The report largely based its conclusion on satellite photos, since the North Korean government has refused to let global inspectors examine its nuclear sites.

The State Department announced Thursday that Biegun would travel to South Korea, China and Japan next week for talks on North Korea.

The strong emphasis on the economy underscores leader Kim Jong Un's new strategy of putting economic development front and centre.

North Korea and South Korea are asking the U.N.to circulate a declaration their leaders agreed to in April that vows to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula and work toward a formal end to the Korean War.

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FILE - In this image made from video by North Korea's KRT, a military parade is held in Pyongyang, North Korea, Feb. 8, 2018.

So far, only one head of state, from Mauritania, is known to be visiting North Korea for the celebrations, something North Korea blames the United States for.

The last Mass Games were held in 2013, months after North Korea's third nuclear test.

Since the two leaders' meeting in Singapore in June, negotiations between the US and North Korea have stalled.

Trump spoke to Moon on the evening before Chung's trip and asked Moon to act as "chief negotiator" between Washington and Pyongyang, the spokesman said.

Pyongyang demands that Washington and other parties first join it in declaring an end to the Korean War, which halted with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Another professor, Kim Joon-hyung of Handong University, found it significant that Kim did not link his Korean War peace treaty proposal to the removal of US troops from the Korean peninsula.

US officials have said such a declaration could weaken North Korea's incentive for denuclearisation, and create uncertainty about the objective of 28,500 USA troops stationed in South Korea, a legacy of the three-year war.

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