North Korea prepares 'pre-emptive strike' in wake of USA 'recklessness'
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 16, 2017,
Apr 16, 2017, 2:21
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) waves from a balcony of the Grand People's Study house following a military parade marking the 105th anniversary of the birth of late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang on April 15, 2017.
"North Korea is now under huge pressure, especially from the USA, and Pyongyang wanted to show a united front without making another nuclear test, a move deemed intolerable by the worldwide community and that might trigger military conflict", said Cui Zhiying, a Korean affairs specialist from Tongji University in Shanghai.
This year's celebrations come at a tense time on the Korean Peninsula, days after a U.S. strike group was deployed to the region and amid expectations of another missile or nuclear test by Pyongyang.
There can be no winners in a war between the United States and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programmes, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, while pledging support for dialogue between the sides.
Tensions between North Korea and the U.S. reached a new high when President Trump ordered the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to head for the Korean peninsula in an attempt to deter North Korea's suspected nuclear testing. These missiles, which North Korea was already known to have developed, are notable because they could be capable of striking the U.S. with a nuclear weapon.
The reason North Korea is openly declaring its super-hardline plans before North Korean founder Kim Il-sung's 105th birthday on April. 15, the North's most important holiday, is apparently because it has settled on a stance of head-on resistance to the series of hardline actions taken by the Trump administration, including the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to the area around the Korean Peninsula.
The festivities took place amid concerns that North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a major rocket launch, such as its first flight test of an ICBM.
The parade also featured North Korea's new solid-fuel missiles, which can be fired from land or under the sea.
China's foreign minister Wang Yi said during a press conference on April 14 that a "conflict could break out at any moment" over North Korea, warning there would be "no winner" in any war, as tensions soar with the US.
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.
But analysts also warned that North Korean might conduct another nuclear test in the future.
The U.S.is reportedly prepared to take action if North Korea attacks.
"The North Korean military and people always maintain a state of complete readiness to make every super-hardline response, including a nuclear strike".
Unlike previous parades attended by Kim, there did not appear to be a senior Chinese official in attendance, Reuters observed.
With the men wearing pins adorned with photos of Kim Il Sung, and the women in brightly coloured traditional dress, crowds lined up to bow to portraits of their state founder before touring an exhibition of photos and North Korean paintings.
North Korea rolled out intercontinental ballistic missiles and other military hardware at a massive parade on April 15 and vowed that it was "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks" against its enemies. The spokesperson for the General Staff Department said in the statement that they had been instructed to release the statement, suggesting that the instructions had come from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Tension has been building since Kim Jong Un announced in his New Year message that the country was close to testing an intercontinental ballistic missile.
North Korea's last parade was held in October 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the WPK's founding.
United States army M1A2 tanks conduct a joint military exercise between the USA and South Korea in Paju, near the border with North Korea, South Korea, Saturday.
Other senior officials joining Kim at the parade podium included Kim Won Hong, who the South Korean government had said earlier this year was sacked from his job as state security minister, presumably over corruption.
China is North Korea's ally.