Wednesday, 26 April, 2017

New missile paraded at N Korean celebration

U.S. May Launch Preemptive Strike Against North Korea: Report N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country's founder
Christy Curtis | 20 April, 2017, 07:43

North Korea displayed new missiles during a military parade to celebrate the 105th birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung on Saturday.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves during a military parade on Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Pyongyang.

President of the United States, Donald Trump, has sent an "armada" of naval ships to the Korean Peninsula amid fears Jong-Un will begin firing missile from the secretive state today.

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".

In the latest, China has warned North Korea of a war as a reaction to its "merciless" response to the U.S.

The parade, an elaborate display of the state's huge power, involves tens of thousands of participants, from goose-stepping soldiers to crowds of civilians who have spent weeks perfecting their ability to wave plastic flowers in unison.

North Korea showed two new kinds of ICBM enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the back of trucks, suggesting Pyongyang was working towards a "new concept" of ICBM, said Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the US-based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.

For outside military analysts, though, the highlight is the weaponry that the North puts on display.

Chad O'Carroll, managing director of specialist service NK News, told AFP they could be a liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missile, or an early version of one, even though Pyongyang has yet to formally announce it has an operational ICBM.

Pyongyang has also expressed anger over the ongoing annual spring military exercises the US holds with South Korea, which it considers a rehearsal for invasion.

Missiles appeared to be the main theme of the giant parade, with Kim's grandson, leader Kim Jong-un, taking time to greet the commander of the Strategic Forces, the branch of the military that oversees the missile arsenal.

But with his approach, Trump is tearing up the old playbook of how to deal with North Korea, analysts said.

"China is ready to coordinate closely with Russia to help cool down as quickly as possible the situation on the peninsula and encourage the parties concerned to resume dialogue", Wang told Lavrov, referring to the stalled six-party talks on the North's nuclear program that includes Russia, China and the United States.

One of the debuts included the Pukkuksong-2 SLBM, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, loaded on trucks, according to Reuters. There weren't any nuclear tests or ballistic missile launches to mark the day. Speculation has grown that it is to conduct a sixth nuclear test to coincide with the anniversary.

The US attack on a Syrian airfield has raised questions over its plans for North Korea. The display featured what appeared to be a new long-range missile and two new types of large missile canisters.

Kim Jong-un did not speak at the parade but waved from a balcony.

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