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N. Korea skips anti-U.S. rallies on Korean War anniversary

North Korea 10:10 June 26, 2020

SEOUL, June 26 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have skipped an annual mass rally against the United States on the 70th anniversary of the Korean War this week amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations and coronavirus concerns.

In the past, North Korea usually held mass anti-U.S. rallies at Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang on the June 25 anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War, but it skipped the event in 2018 and 2019 after landmark summits between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore and Hanoi, respectively.

On Friday, North Korean media outlets, including the official Rodong Sinmun and the Korean Central News Agency, did not report on any anti-U.S. mass rallies marking the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the war.

On Thursday, the North released a paper by the foreign ministry's Institute for Disarmament and Peace, saying strengthening its war deterrence is the "final option."

It vowed to further build up its "strength to contain the persistent nuclear threats from the U.S." and claimed the policies and nuclear threats from the U.S. became more "aggressive" after their summit in Singapore.

The North appears to be toning down its anti-U.S. rhetoric to leave room for negotiations in the future by expressing discontent toward the U.S. on paper but avoiding any further provocations.

During the Korean War, which ended in a truce and not a peace treaty, the U.S. led the 21-nation Allied Forces to help South Korea repel the Chinese-backed communist troops invading from the North.

Residents in Pyongyang hold a mass rally against the United States on June 25, 2017, the 67th anniversary of the 1950-53 Korean War. The North calls the anniversary the Day of Anti-U.S. Struggle, as the U.S. and 15 other nations fought for South Korea under the United Nations flag against invading North Korea during the war. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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