A senior Chinese official on Sunday morning observed the grand military parade of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held to celebrate the 65th birthday of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK).
Top leader of DPRK Kim Jong-il (3th R) and Zhou Yongkang (2nd R), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committe, attended a grand military parade in central Pyongyang, which marked the 65th birthday of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). [Xinhua]
Zhou was invited to watch the grand parade on the rostrum of Pyongyang's central Kim Il Sung Square together with DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il, general secretary of the WPK and chairman of the National Defense Commission of the DPRK.
The show of military might started at 10 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) with a salvo of 21 guns, after a flag-raising ceremony and a performance by the military band.
In front of over 100,000 spectators, 34 phalanxes of cadets and soldiers from different military and paramilitary services and institutions, including eight all-women ones, marched in gallant goose-steps, with their heads turned toward Kim on his tribune of honor.
Following them were tanks, armored personnel carriers, and artillery rockets and missiles, including several types of surface-to-surface missiles that had never been publicly displayed before.
Also on Sunday, Zhou visited the Mangyongdae residence of Kim Il Sung, founder of the DPRK.
Zhou learned about the revolutionary career of the late DPRK leader at his former residence on the outskirts of Pyongyang. He described the tour as a profound learning experience of the DPRK revolutionary tradition.
He noted that the DPRK was founded after the tough struggle of the DPRK people led by Kim Il Sung, who forged the traditional China-DPRK friendship together with Mao Zedong and other late Chinese leaders.
A great friend of the Chinese people and a great leader of the DPRK people, Kim Il Sung lives forever in the hearts of people of the two countries, Zhou said.
On Sunday evening, Zhou attended a grand evening gala on the Kim Il Sung Square. There were nearly 100,000 Pyongyang citizens in traditional costumes forming various phalanxes.
Zhou watched the performance of "Arirang," also an event celebrating the 65th anniversary of the WPK, on Saturday night.
In a meeting with Zhou before the show, Kim thanked Zhou for the congratulatory messages sent by Hu Jintao, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, over the landmark WPK conference and the 65th birthday of the WPK.
Zhou's ongoing visit, which was assigned by the CPC Central Committee and General Secretary Hu, "is an aspiration and support" to the DPRK's revolutionary cause, said Kim, who was reelected as the WPK general secretary at the WPK conference late last month.
Other DPRK leaders, including Kim Yong Nam, Choe Yong Rim, Ri Yong Ho and Kim Jong Un, also met with Zhou.
Zhou, also secretary of the CPC Central Commission of Political and Legal Affairs, said the WPK conference is of great significance for the construction and development of the WPK and the DPRK.
"We believe that under new WPK leadership with Kim Jong Il as general secretary, the industrious and brave DPRK people will surely build a bright future for the country," he said before watching the Arirang performance with the DPRK leaders.
The Arirang, a mass gymnastic and artistic show with more than 100,000 performers, showcased the achievements made by the DPRK people in socialist construction and their patriotism, aspiration for reunification and hope for peace.
To welcome the Chinese delegation, DPRK students and artists gave a special performance featuring Chinese folklore.