North Korea Rolls Out Missiles During Founder's Birthday Celebrations

Violet Powell
April 20, 2017

According to the BBC, North Korea's military arsenal was on display at a massive parade in Pyongyang on Friday to celebrate the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea's founding president, Kim Il-sung.

Choe Ryong Hae said President Donald Trump was guilty of "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching USA forces to the region.

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland U.S., but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.

North Korea warned on Friday that "if the U.S. wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with an annihilating strike", in retaliation to the Trump administration's recent insinuations that it might be considering military action against it.

According to AP, "The parade, an elaborate display of the state's vast 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 recently test-fired four ballistic missiles and claims it's close to perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear warhead capable of reaching the US mainland.

Also on show for the first time was the North's submarine launch ballistic missiles (SLBM).

State television showed Kim, wearing a black suit and white shirt, clapping in delight along with senior government officials to acknowledge the thousands of soldiers and civilians taking part in the parade at Kim Il Sung Square in the capital, Pyongyang.

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He said that the North is also likely developing solid-fuel ICBMs, and that some of the rockets paraded inside canisters on Saturday might be prototypes.

US officials admit the situation is tricky.

One of the debuts included the Pukkuksong-2 SLBM, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, loaded on trucks, according to Reuters.

North Korea has been working on solid fuel - which, unlike liquid fuel, can be preloaded into missiles - as a way to fire missiles quickly to avoid prior detection by satellites.

"He is doing the wrong thing", he added of Kim. The communist country has been regularly conducting nuclear and missile tests defying United Nations' resolutions and sanctions.

"The time for action is now and by that we need to look at ways to put increased pressure on North Korea in order for it to recognize the reality that it needs to pursue de-nuclearisation", State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Thursday.

Then came the tanks, rockets and missiles, including what appeared to be several types of never-before-seen long-range missiles.

Amid the fanfare and regalia of its founder's birthday celebrations, North Korea rolled out what appeared to be new missiles - a brazen display as the country ratchets up its rhetoric against efforts to curb its weapons programs.

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