North Korean leader appears in parade

North Korean leader appears in parade

US officials said Friday the president's advisers weighed a range of ideas for how to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, including military options and trying to overthrow the isolated communist dictatorship's leadership.

The parade, the annual highlight of North Korea's most important holiday, came amid growing worldwide 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.

The missiles were shown during the grand celebrations marking the 105th birth anniversary of DPRK founder Kim Il Sung, which was watched by DPRK supreme leader Kim Jong Un from a high review stand on the west side of the Kim Il Sung Square in central Pyongyang.

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.

Amid hails of "Ban Zai!"

A USA military official, who spoke on anonymity, said the US doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch. "It's not the DPRK but the USA and Trump that makes trouble".

Pyongyang has conducted several missile tests this year, the latest on April 5.

But diplomats in Pyongyang point out that the North raises its rhetoric every spring, when Washington and Seoul hold annual joint military exercises that it views as preparations for invasion.

Pyongyang could use the parade as a show of strength in preference to a nuclear test, analysts said.

It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them previous year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw three rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.

A US State Department official said later Friday the US was aligning "all elements of national power" to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear and missile programs.

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.

China on Friday warned its ally North Korea against carrying out a nuclear test, saying such a "dangerous and irresponsible" move could lead to a breakout of conflict at any moment amid soaring tensions with the US.

Han Song Ryol, North Korea's Vice Minister, accused President Donald Trump of building a "vicious cycle" of tensions.

USA ally South Korea warned against any North Korean "provocation".

In Dandong, China's main border post with North Korea, hundreds of North Koreans gathered at a cultural centre carrying floral displays.

South Korea and the United States say the sole goal of the THAAD is to guard against North Korean missiles, but China says that its powerful radar could penetrate its territory. Leader Kim Jong Un presided over the ceremony before about 100,000 residents and a large contingent of foreign journalists who have been allowed in to cover the holiday.

"The bottom line is that North Korea has an improving nuclear weapons arsenal", said David Albright, the institute's president.

The United States a few days ago dispatched what Trump called an "armada" of ships in a show of force, including an aircraft carrier, into waters off the peninsula amid fears that North Korea was preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests.

"Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was so fascinated by his personality as to say that Kim Il Sung is greater than that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln put together, eulogizing him as the great sun god of human destiny." it said.



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