North Korea flaunts long-range missiles in massive parade

The tough rhetoric from the United States may have been sought by both South Korea and Japan for some time, but its arrival means an uneasy present for the two countries, both of which are in range of North Korean missiles.

Senior Chinese officials did not attend the parade, according to reports, in contrast to some previous events overseen by the North Korean leader. "He is doing the wrong thing", he said of Kim Jong-un.

"The US introduces into the Korean peninsula, the world's biggest hot spot, huge nuclear strategic assets, seriously threatening peace and security of the peninsula and pushing the situation there to the brink of a war", the North's KCNA news agency said on Friday, citing a statement from the Institute for Disarmament and Peace.

The administration's emphasis, the officials said, will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of China, North Korea's dominant trade and military partner.

But as the most likely target for retaliatory strikes by the North, South Korea are urging dialogue in the case of any North missile/weapons test.

A US military official, who requested anonymity to discuss planning, said the United States doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.

A US military official, who spoke on anonymity, said the USA doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.

Mr Han Song said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than that of Barack Obama.

A North Korean KN-08 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICMB) is paraded across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade on Saturday.

NORTH Korea has warned Donald Trump that it is prepared for war and is ready to use its "powerful nuclear deterrent".

The "Day of the Sun" - the anniversary of the birth of Kim Il-sung - is Saturday, and evidence suggests that North Korea may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test, a risky provocation in the current climate.

While Trump's remark was taken as a threat of military action against the North, the president added that China "is working very hard" to defuse the worldwide tension over North Korea, and that he was hopeful Beijing's diplomacy would be effective.

Speculation that it could conduct a sixth blast in the coming days to coincide with the anniversary has reached fever pitch, with specialist United States website 38North describing its Punggye-ri test site as "primed and ready" and White House officials saying military options were "already being assessed".

Mr Trump and China's President Xi Jinping have been in contact by phone since their summit last week in Florida, and Reuters quotes USA officials as saying tougher economic sanctions against North Korea are also being considered.

"Military analysts paid close attention to two new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the backs of trucks - none of which had been displayed before".

Hanham said the tracked launch vehicles were made in North Korea, which means Pyongyang did not have to break sanctions imposed by China to obtain them.

Kim Jong Un, a 30-something leader who took power in late 2011 after the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, emphasises nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defence strategy.

Satellite photographs this week have shown continuing activity around the North's nuclear test site, which could be taken to indicate another underground nuclear test is imminent. An official from South Korea's Defense Ministry couldn't immediately confirm whether the rocket was a new ICBM.

  • Leroy Wright