North Korea has staged a huge military parade in the sprawling Kim Il-Sung square in Pyongyang, to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. But there were no new weapons on display.

The armistice agreement was signed on 27 July 1953, after a three-year war. It is celebrated as Victory Day in North Korea, the day the so-called Fatherland Liberation War was won.

The parade, the largest yet held by North Korea, offered a rare opportunity for the world's defence experts to scrutinise North Korea's latest additions to its arsenal.

Although no significant new weapons were paraded, the show did not disappoint spectators as the defiant nation showcased its military might.

A wide range of missiles, tanks, and goose-stepping troops roared through the parade, with leader Kim Jong-un watching with a smile.

Fighter aircraft and helicopters screeched across the Pyongyang skies as spectators hailed the leader, chanting: "Protect Kim Jong-un with our lives."

Two life-size portraits of Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il, the grandfather and father of the North Korean leader, overlooked the massive parade.

"The respected leader Kim Jong-un has upgraded our military and taken the solidarity among our people to a whole new level. Peaceful environment is more important than anything else for our country that strives to achieve economic construction and improvement of the lives of people," North Korea's highest military official Choe Ryong-Hae said in a speech.

Kim, dressed in signature Mao suit, was flanked by top political and military leaders. Chinese Vice-president Li Yuanchao walked the red carpet along with the North Korean leader. Critics say North Korea, which is reeling under heavy sanctions, took this opportunity to highlight its close ties with Beijing by bringing in the Chinese delegation.

The military pageant is a reminder of marches held by the Soviet Union and China at the height of the Cold War, say experts.

North Korea held its last military parade on 15 April 2012, to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung. Following the parade, the reclusive country launched a long-range rocket and conducted its third nuclear test, sparking UN sanctions.

North Korea unveiled the KN-08 missile last year, widely believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Watch highlights of the parade below, then scroll down for photos of the event:

North Korean soldiers salute in a military vehicle carrying a missile during a parade to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War, at Kim Il-sung Square in PyongyangReuters
A missile is carried by a military vehicle during a parade to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War, at Kim Il-sung Square in PyongyangReuters
North Korean students holding weapons parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in PyongyangReuters
North Koreans holding national flags march during a parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in PyongyangReuters
Female North Korean soldiers parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in PyongyangReuters
North Korean soldiers parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War at Kim Il-sung Square, in PyongyangReuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R) waves next to China's Vice President Li Yuanchao during a parade to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War, at Kim Il-sung Square in PyongyangReuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) salutes next to China's Vice President Li Yuanchao during a parade to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the signing of a truce in the 1950-1953 Korean War, at Kim Il-sung Square in PyongyangReuters