North Korea flaunts long-range missiles in massive parade
09:14, Apr 20, 2017
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Fears over the North's rogue weapons programme have soared in recent days, with a USA naval strike force deployed near the Korean peninsula, while President Donald Trump has warned the threat "will be taken care of" and Pyongyang has vowed a "merciless" response to any provocation.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in South Korea at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia that comes amid turmoil along the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threats to advance its growing nuclear and defense capabilities.
North Korean state television showed what appeared to be several KN-08 and KN-14 missiles rolled out on trucks at the parade Saturday celebrating the 105th birthday of Kim Il Sung.
"We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack", Choe said during the parade in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, which was also attended by Kim Jong Un.
Kim has overseen three nuclear tests and a string of missile and rocket launches since taking over after the death of his father, dictator Kim Jong Il, in late 2011. North Korean then fired the missile at a lofted angle for testing purposes.
Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).
Pyongyang says the military exercises are practice for an invasion of North Korea, and has warned of a nuclear attack on the United States in retaliation for any signs of aggression.
However, the vice minister of foreign affairs told Tracy that North Korea will eventually go through with that test at a time of their choosing. North Korea was widely expected to conduct its sixth nuclear test, which did not occur.
North Korea displayed its submarine-launched ballistic missile and the land-based version it launched last month as well as two new intercontinental ballistic missile-sized canisters as the military paraded down Kim Il Sung Square, analysts said.
"We will hold the USA wholly accountable for the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its outrageous actions", a DPRK foreign ministry spokesman said in response.
Many soldiers are used as a labor force to compensate for the ineffective North Korean economy, so the army is not only about military organization. The deployment is created to show that the USA could shoot down any missiles that North Korea may fire.
It wanted to send "a tough message to the United States in response to the Trump administration s recent rhetoric and the military steps the United States has taken", said Evans Revere of the Brookings Institution in Washington. With North Korea making preparations for a military demonstration on the anniversary of the country's founder, unilateral action may come sooner rather than later.
Amid rising regional tensions, Pyongyang residents have been preparing for North Korea's most important holiday: the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un.
Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide to Kim Jong Un, addressed the packed square with a characteristically bellicose warning to the United States.
Washington swiftly dismissed the idea, but some observers have said administration officials may be becoming more amenable to renewed dialogue with the North.
The United States has warned that a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time. "We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike".
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