Satellite photos show North Korean nuclear site 'primed and ready'

Trump has been flexing his military muscle by carrying out strikes in Syria and Afghanistan, while deploying the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula in a show of force against Kim Jong-un.

North Korea appears "primed and ready" to carry out another nuclear test, satellite images suggest, defying President Donald Trump's warning that American could use military force to stop the pariah nation's atomic ambitions.

Just one day earlier, the North warned it would strike the US mainland with nuclear weapons at any sign of aggression from Washington - although analysts don't believe the country has the ability to do so yet.

On Thursday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said North Korea may already have the capability to deliver missiles equipped with sarin nerve agent, adding: "The security situation around our country is getting increasingly severe". "I felt pretty strongly that [China] had a tremendous power over North Korea". About 200 reporters are in Pyongyang to cover the event, including journalists from the US and Japan. But recently, Abe's ruling party has proposed that Japan should bolster its missile defence, including upgrading the capability to shoot down an enemy missile and acquiring the capacity to attack the base it was sacked from.

Saturday marks the 105th birthday of national founder Kim Il Sung, and North Korea has a history of connecting landmark construction projects to important dates.

And that could be the ideal opportunity for current leader Kim Jong-un to respond to the Trump administration's tough stance on his country.

Kim, who arrived in a black limousine, did not make a speech.

But North Korean Premier Pak Pong Ju said the project "incorporates the latest architectural science and technology, including solar and geothermal technology, and the greening of roofs and walls".

The sprawling development project also includes Pyongyang's tallest apartments, at 70 stories tall. The North's military might is likely to regain centre stage on Saturday's anniversary, when a large-scale military parade is expected.

  • Leroy Wright