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After the thrill of the hardware rolling past up close, our guides quickly moved us to the street leading up from the Arch of Triumph to Moranbong Hill, capped by Mansudae Grand Monument. Kim Il-sung is now joined by Kim Jung-il in a hoodie.
Schoolchildren and women in traditional dress were set up along the route to shower the troops with cheers as they departed Pyongyang.
There was a mixture of fun and tedium on the faces of the onlookers. Young children reinforced their arms to keep them aloft. Women in hanbok of artificial fabrics wilted in the heat. It was only the passsing soliders that had faces of sincere joy, a day to shine amidst the tedium of military life.
The scene was vibrant and thrilling.
Only we never saw the infamous goose-stepping in person.
With the lat truck rolling past, a long, hot morning drew to a close, with the locals relieved to have finished a day’s work. Work it was and the reward was a holiday on Monday to actually kick back.