North Korea stages giant show of military strength

17 April, 2017, 04:35 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • 2017 William “Drew” Cato is seen in Anchorage Alaska. President Donald Trump’s voters are showing they can be a forgiving lot up to a point. The president’s recent shifts in position on

North Korea responded by warning of a "merciless retaliatory strike" if the USA acts first.

The parade comes amid rising tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world, after a week-long series of spats directed toward the United States, and a looming possibility of the nation's sixth nuclear test.

But as speculation mounts that Pyongyang is poised for a "big event", a United States aircraft carrier group is steaming towards the region.

The country's number two official on Saturday said North Korea was prepared to respond to any nuclear attack by the United States in kind.

The United States has warned that a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over.

The American president has repeatedly said he will prevent Pyongyang from its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

An unidentified rocket is displayed during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017.

The supreme leader of North Korea was all smiles as he unveiled what appeared to be his new intercontinental nuclear missile in a military parade today.

Under Jong-un, North Korea has massively expanded its missile capabilities, with several fired into the Sea of Japan.

Korean People's Army (KPA) soldiers march on Kim Il-Sung square during a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017.

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Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than that of former President Barack Obama.

China, North Korea's sole supporter, has stepped in to calm the rising tensions.

Other military hardware at the parade included tanks, multiple rocket launchers and artillery, as well as a solid-fuel missile created to be fired from submarines.

Displaying more than one of the missiles indicates North Korea is progressing with its plan to base a missile on a submarine, which are hard to detect, said Joshua Pollack, editor of the Washington-based Nonproliferation Review.

The parade, an elaborate display of the state's huge power, involves tens of thousands of participants, from goose-stepping soldiers to crowds of civilians who have spent weeks perfecting their ability to wave plastic flowers in unison.

The rockets carried on articulated trailers appeared to be longer than the North's existing KN-08 or KN-14 missiles, analysts said.

For outside military analysts, though, the highlight is the weaponry that the North puts on display.

"Our toughest counteraction against the USA and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive", the military statement said, according to the North's state-sponsored KCNA news agency.

Chad O'Carroll, managing director of specialist service NK News, told AFP they could be a liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile, or an early version of one, even though Pyongyang has yet to formally announce it has an operational ICBM. The North also a year ago launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.

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