Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

North Korea show of strength as USA tensions rise


North Korea paraded its military might Saturday in a massive public display that experts said showed new capabilities for its long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Rows of military bands, goose-stepping and sword-wielding soldiers marched through Pyongyang's main Kim Il-sung square for the "Day of the Sun" celebrations.

North Korea's weapons of war rolled through Pyongyang on Saturday and a senior figure in the regime said it could "beat down enemies with the power of nuclear justice", as leader Kim Jong-Un mounted a spectacular show of strength.

On Thursday, soon after the U.S. dropped its biggest non-nuclear bomb in combat on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan, Mr Trump denounced North Korea as a problem.

North Korea's goal is a long-range nuclear missile that can strike the continental United States.

Concern has grown since the U.S. Navy fired Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack.

Trump posted a tweet Tuesday in which he said the North is "looking for trouble" and reiterated his call for more pressure from Beijing, North Korea's economic lifeline, to clamp down on trade and strengthen its enforcement of United Nations sanctions to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize.

Unlike at some previous parades attended by Kim, there did not appear to be any senior Chinese official in attendance. The North also a year ago launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.

State TV showed North Korea's Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) on parade with tanks and other heavy machinery in front of Kim Jong Un.

Donald Trump recently tweeted that "the problem of North Korea" would be "taken care of".

Its national airline, Air China, has cancelled some flights to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, due to poor demand but it has not suspended all flights there, it said on Friday. The North conducted its fifth such test last September.

The move, coupled with the US retaliatory strikes last week against Syria over a chemical weapons attack on civilians, and the depoyment of a huge bomb against IS positions in Afghanistan earlier this week, touched off fear in South Korea that the United States was preparing for military action against the North.

He will also aim to reassure allies in South Korea and Japan that the USA will take appropriate steps to defend them against North Korean aggression.

The isolated country is now preparing a military parade in honor of 105th birthday of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung on Saturday. (Korean - ) "This is the first time North Korea has ever displayed such a range of their missile arsenal".

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said Han's remarks on the North's readiness to conduct a nuclear test and even go to war reveal the "true colors of North Korea's government that is bellicose and a breaker of regulations".

Kim Jong Un did not speak during the huge event, which celebrates the birthday of North Korea's founding ruler Kim Il Sung, but another top official, Choe Ryong Hae, warned that the North would stand up to any threat posed by the United States.

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