Pyongyang marks 85th Army Day with large-scale military exercise

But the noisy military display, to mark the 85th anniversary of the army, stopped short of the feared nuclear weapons test or intercontinental missile launch that would have unleashed a fierce global reaction.

It may be that President Trump has decided that the cost of North Korea eventually getting nuclear weapons that could strike the USA means that the risk of war has to be taken.

A US guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea on Tuesday and envoys from the US, Japan and South Korea met in Tokyo, as North Korea reportedly fired off hundreds of artillery rounds to mark the anniversary of the founding of its military.

This photo provided by South Korean Defense Ministry shows the destroyer USS Wayne E. Meyer during a joint exercises between the United States and South Korea in South Korea's West Sea Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

It follows a two-day exercise with two Japanese destroyers as the Vinson group passed through the Philippine Sea en route to the Koreas.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump had said that the United States was sending an "armada" with submarines to the region.

The warnings from the Chinese media "represent a changed mood in China that North Korea should be viewed as a liability, not a strategic asset", said Seoul's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Cho June-hyuck at a news briefing Tuesday. The nuclear-powered submarine is built to carry and launch ballistic missiles and Tomahawk cruise missiles. "That I can tell you".

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley (L) and China's Ambassador to the UN Liu Jieyi (2R) listens while US President Donald Trump (2L) speaks before a working lunch with UN Security Council member nations in the State Dining Room of the White House on April 24, 2017 in Washington, DC.

"North Korea's a big world problem, and it's a problem we have to finally solve".

In recent months North Korea has refused to buckle to worldwide pressure and continued to develop both its nuclear and test missiles.

In a tweet last weekend, Trump again insisted that Beijing take action against Pyongyang. It could potentially provoke North Korea.

North Korea has been aggressively pursuing a decades-long goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, capable of reaching the US mainland.

Trump spoke by phone with both the Japanese and Chinese leaders on Monday.

While "adamantly opposing" any contravention of United Nations resolutions by North Korea, Xi, according to Chinese reports, "hoped that all sides exercise restraint and avoid doing things that exacerbate tensions on the peninsula".

South Korea's envoy, Kim Hong-kyun, said they had also discussed how to get Russia's help to press North Korea.

The White House said Mr Trump "emphasised that Pyongyang's actions are destabilising the Korean Peninsula".

"Our great leaders founded and wisely led our revolutionary army, and just like that, now our respected Marshal Kim Jong Un is leading wisely, so even though the situation is tense, we are celebrating the day", said Choe Un Byol, who had come with his family to the bronze statues of the former leaders.

With worldwide support, the Trump administration wants to exert a "burst" of economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea that yields results within months to push the communist government to change course from developing nuclear weapons.

The incessant drum beat was continued last week with statements from the USA defence and state departments.

"As (North Korea has) one of the largest stockpiles of chemical weapons, again artillery can be used for that".

The North has called the moves "undisguised military blackmail" and a unsafe action that plunges the peninsula into a "touch-and-go situation". "However, we will respond to threats to us or our allies accordingly", a spokesperson declared. Alternatively, a long-range missile test could show North Korean progress toward being able to fire a weapon at America.

Washington has sent the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula, where it is expected to arrive - after a derision-provoking delay - later this week.

  • Larry Hoffman