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60th anniversary

North Korea is holding a huge parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War.

State TV showed soldiers and military hardware parading through the capital Pyongyang in a carefully choreographed display.

Troops and spectators shouted their allegiance to North Korea’s young ruler, Kim Jong-un.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce although North Korea and South Korea remain technically at war.

Correspondents say the lavish parade of weapons and goose-stepping soldiers is reminiscent of marches held by the Soviet Union and China at the height of the Cold War.

The TV pictures showed Kim Jong-un walking up to the podium on a red carpet with a military band playing in the background. The North Korean leader oversaw the parade flanked by military and ruling party leaders.

North Korea is holding a huge parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War

North Korea is holding a huge parade to mark the 60th anniversary of the armistice that ended the Korean War

Large banners hung from gas-filled balloons and the main square in Pyongyang was filled with North Korean flags.

Over the past week North Korea has staged mass rallies and fireworks displays to commemorate the anniversary.

It comes as North and South Korea try to restore ties following a period of high tension.

Earlier this month, they ended a third round of talks on the re-opening of a jointly-run industrial zone without reaching a deal.

Work at Kaesong has been suspended since mid-April when North Korea withdrew its workers.

The move came amid tense relations between the two Koreas after Pyongyang’s nuclear test in February.

In South Korea, the anniversary was marked with a speech by President Park Geun-hye.

Park Geun-hye vowed not to tolerate provocations from North Korea but also said Seoul would work on building trust with the North.

“I urge North Korea to give up the development of nuclear weapons if the country is to start on a path toward true change and progress,” she said.

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According to regulator GS1 UK, there are now more than five million individual barcodes in use around the world.

Sunday, 7 October is the 60th anniversary of the barcode patent, filed in the US in 1952.

However, the distinctive black-and-white stripes did not make their first appearance in an American shop until 1974 – because the laser technology used to read them did not exist.

GS1 said the QR code was not a threat to the traditional linear barcode.

A QR (Quick Response) code is an image made up of dots, which can contain more data than a barcode.

“They have different purposes – the barcode on the side of a tin of beans is for point-of-sale scanning. It ensures the consumer is charged the right amount and updates stock records,” said Gary Lynch, chief executive of GS1 UK.

“The QR code’s main purpose is to take the person that scans it to an extended multimedia environment. Technically you can combine the two but nobody’s asking for that right now.”

The first item to be scanned by a barcode was a packet of chewing gum in an Ohio supermarket in 1974.

But the black-and-white stripes did not get a universal welcome, with some wine manufacturers refusing to incorporate barcodes onto their labels for aesthetic reasons.

Now it occasionally doubles as body art, with pos star Pink among those who sport a barcode tattoo.

“Barcodes are an icon and rightly so – we’re quite pleased about it,” said Gary Lynch.

“But if one of my daughters had one in homage to her father I’d be rather upset.”