North Korea marked the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party with a gala on 11 October, the day after holding a massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong-un.

Dancers and singers performed patriotic songs, focusing on the North's bitter wartime history and the lives of its two former leaders, Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, along the river in front of Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square. The performance was watched by Pyongyang's residents and high level members of the party.

The parade was attended by Liu Yunshan, the fifth-ranked member on China's ruling Communist Party's elite Politburo Standing Committee. China is North Korea's chief ally and its main trading partner, although ties have been strained over the North's nuclear programme.

Kim, who is in his early thirties, told the visiting Chinese delegation on 9 October that North Korea was also keen to bolster ties, according to the North's official KCNA news agency.