Pyongyang and other cities around North Korea were decked out with flags and banners as North Koreans flocked to patriotic gatherings and mass dance celebrations to mark the anniversary of the July 27, 1953, agreement that brought the three-year Korean war to an end with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
North Korean officials took the opportunity of the anniversary to step up their anti-US rhetoric and call upon the nation to redouble its devotion to the nation’s current leader, Kim Jong Un, the third leader in the Kim dynasty, and prepare for a final showdown with Washington. The anniversary is hailed in North Korea as a victory over the US, which fought with the South Koreans and other allies against the North’s forces, who were supported by China and the Soviet Union.
In a speech to veterans on Saturday, Kim Jong Un stressed the importance of instilling the country’s young people with the same fighting spirit and devotion as the generation that experienced the war. But he also stressed that North Korea has a new ace in the hole — a nuclear arsenal of its own.
“Gone forever is the era when the United States blackmailed us with nukes; now the United States is no longer a source of threat and fear for us and we are the very source of fear for it.”