Pyongyang, July 27: North Korea on Saturday staged the largest military parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War, at a ceremony in Pyongyang presided over by leader Kim Jong-Un.
The Korean war ceasefire that happened on July 27, 1953, did not come with a peace deal, but it is said to be a hard-won truce. To mark the occasion, the long-range missiles, were mounted on gigantic trailers, rolled through the sprawling Kim Il-Sung square and soldiers were chanted "Let's fight, fight, fight... for our republic!"
Thousands of troops and spectators roared "Protect Kim Jong-Un with our lives" when he appeared on the podium along with the China's Vice President Li Yuanchao, flanked by top party and military leaders.
Kim and his troops saluted as the blue, white and red national flag and the yellow and red flag of the ruling Workers' Party were raised.
Kim was wearing his signature dark Mao suit and is expected to make a televised address during the parade.
Choe Ryong-Hae, the North's highest military official, made a speech to the massed crowds praising "our great general Kim Jong-Un" and hailing the North's "proud and victorious history".
"A peaceful environment is more important than anything else for our country," he said while warning that the North also had to be ready for war.
"All servicemen and people should... strengthen our defence and be firmly prepared to fend off any attacks from the outside."
Prior to the performance, the head of North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong-Nam gave a speech praising the North's "great victory" in the Korean War.
"The US imperialists sustained a heavy defeat for the first time in their more than 100-year-long history of wars of aggression," Kim said.
The last mass military parade in Pyongyang was held on April 15 last year, for the birth anniversary of the North's founder leader Kim Il-Sung when Kim delevered his first major public speech since coming to power following his father Kim Jong-Il's death in December 2011.
Since then, the North Korea has successfully launched a long-range rocket in December and conducted its third nuclear test in February.
Meanwhile, the US President Barack Obama declared Saturday to be "Korean War Veterans Armistice Day".
"I call upon all Americans to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities that honor our distinguished Korean War veterans," Obama said.
On the contrary, South Korea observed the anniversary on a quite note.In Seoul, President Park Geun-Hye said, "If the North makes the right choice, we will expand exchanges and cooperation and actively open up the road for prosperity of the North and the South."
(With Agency inputs)