North Korea Celebrates New Congress With Colorful Loyalty Parade

Hundreds of thousands of ecstatic civilians marched across the ceremonial square waving red party flags and colored balloons.

North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un presided over a massive rally in the capital city of Pyongyang on Monday to mark the end of the ruling party’s first congress in 36 years.

Flanked by top military and political leaders, Kim watched the parade from a podium overlooking the Kim Il-sung Square. Hundreds of thousands of civilians participated in the rally, with many dressed in traditional Korean robes, as they marched across the streets waving floral bouquets, flags and pompoms.

The North Korean state media described the parade as a “mass rally and procession” to celebrate the “successful Seventh Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea.”

The four-day-long event was an opportunity for the dictator to consolidate his power, which is exactly what he did. Not only did Kim use the rare congress to highlight hermit kingdom’s aim to expand its nuclear arsenal in defiance of the United Nations, but also set out a five-year plan to revive the creaking economy.

“Under the authorization of Workers’ party chairman Kim Jong-un, the central committee sends the warmest greetings to the people and soldiers who concluded the 70-day battle with the greatest of victory and glorified the congress as an auspicious event,” said Kim Yong-nam, the titular head of state. He was referring to the 70-day campaign of accelerated productivity in the run-up to the congress, according to Reuters.

Kim also took on the new title of party chairperson during the event.

Watch the celebrations in the video above.

Related: North Korea Prepares For Once-In-A-Generation Congress