North Korea displays submarine-based missiles for first time at military parade

Troop formations, missile displays, and armored vehicles rolled through the massive Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, as the country's current leader, Kim Jong Un, perched on the balcony and gave the occasional nod and salute to thousands of his subjects below.

USA officials said Friday the president's advisers weighed a range of ideas for how to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, including military options and trying to overthrow the isolated communist dictatorship's leadership.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters no one would win in a military conflict between the US and North Korea.

During a speech at the parade, a high-ranking North Korean official blamed the Trump administration for heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula, saying North Korea will respond with "all-out war and a nuclear war" if attacked.

Last month, Xinhua noted, the foreign minister suggested as a first step that North Korea could suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.

Soldiers carried out on trucks North Korea's "Pukguksong" missile, which can be fired from a submarine.

North Korea showed two new kinds of ICBM enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the back of trucks, suggesting Pyongyang was working towards a "new concept" of ICBM, said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the USA -based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California.

"If the USA comes with reckless military maneuvers then we will confront it with ... the pre-emptive strike", Han said.

Kim did not address the rally himself on Saturday, instead waving and smiling as ecstatic crowds of flag- and flower-bearing civilians - men in suits, women in traditional hanbok dresses - filed past him behind the military display.

The official, who wasn't authorized to be quoted by name and demanded anonymity, lamented Pyongyang's "far too common and far too dangerous" provocations, and said Washington would work with worldwide partners to cut the North's government off "from the rest of the world".

The show of strength comes amid mounting tension, with a U.S aircraft carrier group steaming towards the region.

"The bottom line is that North Korea has an improving nuclear weapons arsenal", said David Albright, the institute's president.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and Pyongyang says that it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against a possible U.S. invasion. Pyongyang has recently been ratcheting up its threats to strike the United States with a missile, blaming President Donald Trump's bellicose rhetoric against the regime.

The reappearance of Kim Won-hong, the state security minister whom South Korean officials believed was purged earlier this year, also caught the attention of local authorities.

"That is something that our headquarters decides", Han said.

But Han said it was prepared for provocative acts.

North Korea is known to have invited about 200 foreign journalists to let them cover the country's celebrations of the key national holiday.

North Korea, still technically at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce but not a treaty, has on occasion conducted missile or nuclear tests to coincide with big political events and often threatens the United States, South Korea and Japan.

As for the Trump administration's policy, the USA officials emphasized that no engagement of North Korea is currently taking place, and that the focus now was on pressure.

Pyongyang has undertaken five nuclear tests since 2006.

  • Leroy Wright


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