28 Jul 2013

60th anniversary of armistice marked by both Koreas

5:16 am on 28 July 2013

North and South Korea have separately marked the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

State TV in North Korea showed soldiers and military hardware parading through Pyongyang in a choreographed display.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, although the North and South remain technically at war.

The BBC reports troops and spectators shouted their allegiance to their ruler, Kim Jong-un.

Correspondents said the lavish parade of weapons and goose-stepping soldiers on Saturday was reminiscent of marches held by the Soviet Union and China at the height of the Cold War.

Large banners hung from gas-filled balloons and the main square in Pyongyang was filled with North Korean flags.

North Korea has staged mass rallies and fireworks displays over the past week to commemorate the anniversary.

In South Korea, the anniversary was marked with a speech by President Park Geun-hye.

The BBC reports she vowed not to tolerate provocations from North Korea but also said Seoul would work on building trust with the North.

"I urge North Korea to give up the development of nuclear weapons if the country is to start on a path toward true change and progress," she said.

Earlier this month, a third round of talks on the re-opening of a jointly-run industrial zone ended without a deal. Work at Kaesong has been suspended since mid-April when North Korea withdrew its workers.

Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test in February.

North Korean troops invaded South Korea on 25 June, 1950.

After lengthy negotiations, an armistice was signed on 27 July, 1953, which brought an end to the fighting. However, there is no formal end to the war yet.