In the latest sign of a more conciliatory approach by North Korea toward the United States, the North has decided it won’t hold its annual anti-U.S. rally.
The rally, which commemorates the start of the Korean War, is an annual event in which the North uses anti-U.S. propaganda to solidify the regime’s own internal propaganda. The cancellation follows the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Other conciliatory moves by North Korea have included the destruction of one of its nuclear test sites and the release of two American hostages.
After being on the verge of a potential nuclear conflict last year, North Korea vowed in a statement following the Trump–Kim summit last month to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
The change is remarkable, as North Korea for decades has developed its nuclear program as a means to safeguard the regime’s power.
Trump’s strategy, to pursue a diplomatic solution while using economic sanctions and a credible military threat, resulted in Kim agreeing to the high-profile summit in Singapore last month.
“It is to North Korea’s advantage to dismantle very quickly. Then the elimination of sanctions, aid by South Korea and Japan and others can all begin to flower,” national security adviser John Bolton said on July 1, adding that a plan has been developed that would denuclearize North Korea within one year.
In late November, North Korea test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) which entered orbit in space before successfully re-entering.
At that time the assessment by the Pentagon was that North Korea was technically able to reach any place in the world, including all of the U.S. mainland, with its ICBMs.
In recent years, the regime has also made great strides toward building a small nuclear warhead that could be fitted on a missile.
Trump broke with the Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience,” which in essence did nothing to stop North Korea’s advancement of its nuclear weapons program.