China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' North Korea situation

Kim Jong Un, looking relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides, oversaw the festivities on the "Day of the Sun" at Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square.

As Kim watched, row after row of military bands and goose-stepping soldiers marched alongside tanks and missiles.

Single-engine propeller-powered planes flew in a 105 formation overhead.

Unlike at some previous parades attended by Mr Kim, there did not appear to be a senior Chinese official in attendance.

The North conducted two such tests past year alone.

China, North Korea's sole major ally and neighbour which nevertheless opposes its weapons programme, has called for talks leading to a peaceful resolution and the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang showed off two new intercontinental ballistic missile-sized canisters as well as displaying its submarine-launched ballistic missile and a land-based version of the same for the first time, according to analysts.

Another missile launch or nuclear test "can't be ruled out", he said, but the recent USA cruise missile strike on Syria and Washington's tough stance "may give Pyongyang some pause".

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.

Pyongyang has yet to formally announce it has an operational ICBM, but Chad O'Carroll, managing director of specialist service NK News, said the new rockets could be liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missiles, or an early prototype.

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.

If so, it would be the first time North Korea has publicly displayed the weapon. Military analysts say the missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States, although North Korea has yet to flight test them.

North Korea's Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Un, was shown clapping and smiling from a reviewing box.

"If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike, and we will respond to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare", he said.
State news agency KCNA also said the Trump's "serious military hysteria" had reached a "dangerous phase which can no longer be overlooked".

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

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E). Han Song Ryol, North Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs speaks during an interview with The Associated Press on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung died in 1994 at the age of 82, after leading his country from its establishment in 1948 until his death.

"We call on all parties to refrain from provoking and threatening each other, whether in words or actions, and not let the situation get to an irreversible and unmanageable stage", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters in Beijing.

China's Global Times newspaper, which is published by the People's Daily, the Communist Party's official paper, said North Korea must have felt the shockwave from the 11-ton "mother of all bombs" dropped by USA forces on Islamic State-linked fighters in Afghanistan on Thursday.

"It would be nice if the bomb could frighten Pyongyang, but its actual impact may just be the opposite", it said in an editorial.

The show of military might came as the U.S. Navy sent the USS Carl Vinson strike group to the region.

Saturday's holiday, known as the Day of the Sun, normally includes an vast military parade and synchronized public performances involving thousands of people.

It staged a similar lavish parade in 2012 to mark the centenary of Kim Il-sung's birth.

  • Leroy Wright