North Korea stages huge military parade, holds back on advanced missiles

North Korea has staged a huge military parade to mark its 70th anniversary as a nation but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the parade to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

Officials emphasized economic goals of the regime rather than its nuclear might

North Korean soldiers march with a float showing late North Korean leader Kim Il-sung during a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea's founding day in Pyongyang on Sunday. (Ng Han Guan/Associated Press)

North Korea has staged a huge military parade to mark its 70th anniversary as a nation but held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the parade to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

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

Kim attended the morning parade but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of the Chinese parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with the North.

Senior statesman Kim Yong-nam, the head of North Korea's parliament, set the relatively softer tone for the event with an opening speech that emphasized the economic goals of the regime, not its nuclear might.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, right, raises hands with China's third highest ranking official, Li Zhanshu. (Ng Han Guan/Associated Press)