In sign of detente, North Korea skips annual anti-US rally

Kim Jong-un attending a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People's Army

Kim Jong-un attending a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean People's Army

Last year's event was held in Kim Il Sung Square with a reported 100,000 people attending.

In 2017, North Korea's Workers' Party newspaper Rodong Sinmun had stated the "blood of the people is boiling with revenge" against the "U.S. imperialists".

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in this May 9, 2018 photo released on May 10, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.

It all culminates on July 27, which the North celebrates as the day of "Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War".

North Korean officials did not have any on-the-record comments on the move, but AP staff said they confirmed on Monday the event had been called off.

North Korea's state-run media is broadcasting the message of relaxed tensions across the country.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walk together before their working lunch during their summit at the Capella Hotel on the resort island of Sentosa, Singapore June 12, 2018. It's likely the first time many North Korean's have seen what President Trump looks like.

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North Korea's change in tone and messaging remains nuanced though.

North Korea's decidedly less strident posture these days underscores the delicate position it finds itself in after decades of touting the United States as its archenemy.

The official, who spoke to a small group of reporters ahead of a trip to Asia this week by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, did not specify details but suggested that the timeline would be rapid enough to make clear Pyongyang's level of commitment.

More than 36,500 USA troops died in the war, and about 7,700 military personnel remain unaccounted for.

The 1950-53 Korean War, and the devastation the country suffered at the hands of the US and its allies, remain a major part of every North Korean's education. Anti-American slogans can also still be seen in Pyongyang and throughout the countryside, though they are not that numerous.

The official went on to say the US will soon know whether or not Kim Jong Un plans to stick with the agreement.

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