North Korea 'ready for nuclear attack'
Amid rising regional tensions, Pyongyang residents have been preparing. That led North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rivals if they show signs of aggression.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington go back to President Harry Truman and the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. The fact is that, since North Korea began developing nuclear weapons for its own survival, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia have become much more unsafe, and hopes of peaceful co-existence have decreased.
(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E). North Korean schoolgirls perform at the Mangyongdae Children's Palace on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. But the USA will respond to North Korea's threats accordingly and won't engage Pyongyang until it "chooses a more peaceful way forward".
Japan's foreign minister says his country needs to remain on alert over North Korea even after this weekend's celebrations.
Amid the latest saber-rattling between Washington and Pyongyang, North Korea has staged a massive parade on the 105th anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung's birthday.
After Sunday's launch attempt, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Trump and his military team "are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch".
Beijing has long opposed dramatic action against the North, fearing the regime's collapse would send a flood of refugees across its borders and leave the USA military on its doorstep. He did not elaborate.
Another U.S. official also dismissed the report, calling it "speculative at best".
The North's Korean People's Army (KPA) added its voice to the bellicose rhetoric on Friday with a statement threatening strikes against USA military bases and other targets in South Korea.
The Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also on parade.
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"They have an indigenous tank system now so they have more launchers, and they have solid fuel, which means they can launch a lot more of these things in quick succession without having to refuel", Melissa Hanham, an expert at California's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies said. In these conditions, Pyongyang declares its intention to strengthen its nuclear-missile potential amid the aggressive policy of the United States.
There's also anger in Pyongyang over the annual spring military exercises that the US holds with South Korea.
Other military hardware at the parade included tanks, multiple rocket launchers and artillery guns, as well as a solid-fuel missile created to be fired from submarines. Cold launches would also allow the missiles to be fired from silos.
A huge parade in Pyongyang was held amid speculation that current leader Kim Jong-un could order a new nuclear test, reported BBC.
Choe Ryong Hae, who some presume as the second-most powerful official in North Korea, said Saturday that the new USA government under Donald Trump was "creating a war situation" in the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.
All eyes are on the Trump administration's plans for North Korea, with concern growing since last week's U.S. missile strike in Syria, in response to a deadly gas attack.
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. "The launch of the ballistic missile occurred near Sinpo", said Commander Dave Benham, a spokesman for the US Pacific Command.
State TV showed images of the SLBMs on trucks waiting to be paraded in front of trigger happy Kim.
It was the first time North Korea had shown the missiles, which have a range of more than 1,000 km (600 miles), at a military parade.
The response came with the grand bluster normally included in statements by North Korea, bluster like "nuclear justice". Under his watch, North Korea has aggressively pursued a goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM capable of reaching the continental United States.
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Apr 20 2017