The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

From the eccentric nationalist symbols, to the precision marching, these images capture the retro-futuristic pathos of North Korean military parades. In them, we see a country struggling to enter the future while also remaining isolated from the social and political changes of the world around it.

Above: Tractors pull weapons on wagons at a mass military parade on Kim Il Sung Square to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, July 27, 2013. The photo was taken by AP/David Guttenfelder.

North Korean citizens march through Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square to mark the country's 55th birthday on Tuesday Sept. 9, 2003

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo via AP, by Korea News Service)

North Korean missile unit takes part in a massive military parade in Pyongyang, April 25, 2007 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Korean People's Army. After soldiers marched in formation, 48 missiles of four different sizes were driven through the capital's central Kim Il Sung Square.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo from AP/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

Celebration of the country's 60th anniversary at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, Sept. 9, 2008.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP Photo/Korean Central News Agency via Korea News Service)

A North Korean soldier salutes during a massive military parade marking the 65th anniversary of the communist nation's ruling Workers' Party in Pyongyang, North Korea on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Vincent Yu)

Naval personnel march during a parse marking the 65th anniversary of the Workers' Party in Pyongyang on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Vincent Yu)

In this Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 file photo, a North Korean soldier smiles from the back of an army vehicle at Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, before a parade of thousands of soldiers commemorating the 70th birthday of the country's late leader Kim Jong Il.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

North Korean military vehicles pass by at Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang during a parade of thousands of soldiers commemorating the 70th birthday of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il on Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/David Guttenfelder)

An aerial vehicle is transported during a mass military parade in Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square to celebrate 100 years since the birth of North Korean founder Kim Il Sung on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Ng Han Guan)

A North Korean vehicle carrying what appears to be a new missile passes by during a mass military parade in the Kim Il Sung Square on April 15, 2012.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Vincent Yu)

North Korean soldiers ride by on horses in front of flower waving civilians during a mass military parade in Pyongyang, April 15, 2012.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/David Guttenfelder)

North Korean veterans of the Korean War stand and salute during a mass military parade on Kim Il Sung Square to mark the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, Saturday, July 27, 2013.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/David Guttenfelder)

Waving soldiers after the parade, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North KoreaThe Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(via Hannahkoryo/Instagram)

Female North Korean soldiers march during a mass military parade on Kim Il Sung Square, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

The military showcase their armor in Kim Il Sung Square, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Wong Maye-E)

Military unit members carrying kits marked with the bright yellow nuclear symbol, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/KRT, via AP Video)

A soldier salutes in a military tank, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Wong Maye-E)

Military vehicles are paraded past the Kim Il Sung Square, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Wong Maye-E)

Parade participants carry the North Korean national flags, July 27, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Wong Maye-E)

North Korean veterans of the Korean War wave to their leader Kim Jong Un, July 27, 2013.

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/David Guttenfelder)

Bonus: Children, dressed as military service members, ride tricycles behind a toy mobile rocket launcher during the International Children's Day at Mangyongdae Amusement Park on the outskirts of Pyongyang, June 1, 2013

The Retro-Futuristic Spectacle of Military Parades in North Korea

(Photo by AP/Jon Chol Jin)