Pyongyang : North Korea paraded its intercontinental ballistic missiles in a massive military display in central Pyongyang on Saturday, with ruler Kim Jong Un looking on with delight as his nation flaunted its increasingly sophisticated military hardware amid rising regional tensions.
Kim did not speak during the annual parade, which celebrates the 1912 birthday of his late grandfather Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founding ruler, but a top official warned that the North would stand up to any threat posed by the United States.
Choe Ryong Hae said President Donald Trump was guilty of “creating a war situation” on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching US forces to the region. “We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack,” said Choe, widely seen by analysts as North Korea’s No 2 official.
The parade, the annual highlight of North Korea’s most important holiday, came amid growing international worries that North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a major missile launch, such as its first flight test of an ICBM capable of reaching US shores. But if the parade signalled a readiness for war, North Korea has long insisted that its goal is peace and survival with the growing arsenal a way to ensure that the government in Pyongyang is not easily overthrown.
North Korea saw the toppling of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Moammar Gadhafi in Libya neither of whom had nuclear weapons as proof of the weapons’ power.
“It will be the largest of miscalculations if the United States treats us like Iraq and Libya, which are living out miserable fates as victims of aggression, and Syria, which didn’t respond immediately even after it was attacked,” said a statement on Friday by the general staff of the North Korean army, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
Also on Friday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that Trump’s tweets he recently tweeted, for example, that the North is “looking for trouble” have inflamed tensions. “Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words,” Han Song Ryol said.–AP