North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il Sung, on Saturday, as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region.
In addition, the country also warned the United States to end its “military hysteria” or face retaliation, even as a U.S. aircraft carrier group steams towards the region.
Missiles appeared to be the main theme of the giant parade, with the date of the birthday marked as the “Day of the Sun”.
Kim Il Sung’s reclusive grandson and current Supreme Leader of NK, Kim Jong Un, took the time to greet the commander of the Strategic Forces, the branch of the military that oversees the missile arsenal.
The festivities, celebrating the 105th birthday of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un’s grandfather, took place amid concerns that North Korea is possibly preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a significant rocket launch, such as its first flight test of an ICBM, PTI reported.
State television showed what appeared to be several KN-08 missiles rolled out on trucks at the parade. Military analysts say the missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States, although the North has yet to flight test them.
Concern has grown since the U.S. Navy fired Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airfield last week in response to a deadly gas attack. That raised questions about U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans for North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of U.N. and unilateral sanctions.
The North’s warning came as leader Kim Jong Un, looking relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides, oversaw a military parade at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung square, named after his grandfather, on his birth anniversary.
Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square, next to the Taedonggang River that flows through Pyongyang, in the hazy spring sunshine, followed by tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and other weapons.
Single-engine propeller-powered planes flew in a 105 formation overhead.
North Korea, still technically at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce but not a treaty, has on occasion conducted missile or nuclear tests to coincide with big political events and often threatens the United States, South Korea and Japan.
“All the brigandish provocative moves of the U.S. in the political, economic and military fields pursuant to its hostile policy toward the DPRK will thoroughly be foiled through the toughest counteraction of the army and people of the DPRK,” the KCNA state news agency said, citing a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army.
DPRK stands for the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“Our toughest counteraction against the U.S. and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive.”
(With inputs from Reuters and PTI)
Feature Image Source: Reuters