North Korea marched its troops through Kim Il Sung Square during a parade to mark the country’s 70th anniversary.
Tanks also paraded around the streets in Pyongyang.
But the country’s nuclear arsenal took more of a back seat than usual with nearly half of the event dedicated to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.
Tens of thousands of North Koreans waving brightly coloured plastic bouquets filled the square.
The combining of military and civilian sections is a familiar North Korean parade format.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un attended the morning parade but did not address the crowd.
At the end of the two-hour event he strolled to the edge of the balcony with the Chinese special envoy, Li Zhanshu, who is also the third-ranking member in China’s ruling Communist Party.
The two held up their joined hands to symbolise the countries’ traditionally close ties.
The civilians taking part in the parade ranged from nurses to students to construction workers.