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Kim Jong Un shows off North Korea missiles; world on edge

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Senior regime official says country ready for nuclear war

North Korean leader oversaw an elaborate military parade in the centre of Pyongyang on Saturday as the world watched for any provocations that risk sparking a conflict with the US.


Wearing a Western-style black suit and white collared shirt, Kim was pictured on state-run television laughing heartily and clapping while watching soldiers, tanks and missiles on display in a large square. The event marked the 105th birth anniversary of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder, North Korea’s most important holiday.


“If the US provokes recklessly, the revolutionary forces will take an annihilating strike,” Choe Ryong Hae, a senior regime official, said in a speech at the parade. is ready for a nuclear or full-scale war if the US wants it, he added.


The military parade displayed submarine-launched ballistic missiles for the first time and what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile, in addition to others that have already been publicly unveiled, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported. In 2012, unveiled long-range missiles that some arms analysts dismissed as fake.


Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Programme at the Middlebury Institute of Studies at Monterey, said that the isolated nation showed more new systems than in past parades. “The North Koreans are committed to deploying a credible nuclear deterrent that is capable of deterring an attack and repelling an invasion. We saw a lot of the new systems they are developing to make good on that commitment,” he said.


Tensions have risen in the past week after President Donald Trump’s administration sent warships near and threatened to act alone if Kim’s regime proceeds with a nuclear or ballistic missile test. China urged all sides to back down on Friday, warning that a war on the Korean Peninsula would have devastating consequences.


US Vice President Mike Pence is set to arrive in South Korea on Sunday as part of a 10-day swing through Asia that also includes a stop in Japan.


A statement by the White House showed that he will be dealing with business issues mainly, but administration officials said Thursday he will also discuss economic sanctions and military options for if a provocation by occurs.


While Trump has ratcheted up pressure on China to contain its neighbour and ally, he has also sought to build bridges in recent weeks with President Xi Jinping. Trump on Wednesday highlighted China’s move to ban coal imports from North Korea, noting that a fleet of cargo ships had turned back. “That’s a big step, and they have many other steps that I know about,” Trump said at a news conference. He later said he thought Xi “means well and I think he wants to help.”


The Global Times, a Communist Party-affiliated Chinese newspaper, argued in an editorial this week that Beijing should support stiffer UN sanctions against North Korea, including the limit of oil exports, if the country conducts another nuclear test.


Even so, China is getting increasingly alarmed at the brinkmanship. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday, “No matter who the nation is, if it continues to provoke wars in the Peninsula, it has to bear this historical responsibility and pay its price.” Bloomberg

Kim Jong Un shows off North Korea missiles; world on edge

Senior regime official says country ready for nuclear war

Senior regime official says country ready for nuclear war

North Korean leader oversaw an elaborate military parade in the centre of Pyongyang on Saturday as the world watched for any provocations that risk sparking a conflict with the US.


Wearing a Western-style black suit and white collared shirt, Kim was pictured on state-run television laughing heartily and clapping while watching soldiers, tanks and missiles on display in a large square. The event marked the 105th birth anniversary of his grandfather Kim Il Sung, the nation’s founder, North Korea’s most important holiday.


“If the US provokes recklessly, the revolutionary forces will take an annihilating strike,” Choe Ryong Hae, a senior regime official, said in a speech at the parade. is ready for a nuclear or full-scale war if the US wants it, he added.


The military parade displayed submarine-launched ballistic missiles for the first time and what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile, in addition to others that have already been publicly unveiled, South Korea’s Yonhap News reported. In 2012, unveiled long-range missiles that some arms analysts dismissed as fake.


Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Programme at the Middlebury Institute of Studies at Monterey, said that the isolated nation showed more new systems than in past parades. “The North Koreans are committed to deploying a credible nuclear deterrent that is capable of deterring an attack and repelling an invasion. We saw a lot of the new systems they are developing to make good on that commitment,” he said.


Tensions have risen in the past week after President Donald Trump’s administration sent warships near and threatened to act alone if Kim’s regime proceeds with a nuclear or ballistic missile test. China urged all sides to back down on Friday, warning that a war on the Korean Peninsula would have devastating consequences.


US Vice President Mike Pence is set to arrive in South Korea on Sunday as part of a 10-day swing through Asia that also includes a stop in Japan.


A statement by the White House showed that he will be dealing with business issues mainly, but administration officials said Thursday he will also discuss economic sanctions and military options for if a provocation by occurs.


While Trump has ratcheted up pressure on China to contain its neighbour and ally, he has also sought to build bridges in recent weeks with President Xi Jinping. Trump on Wednesday highlighted China’s move to ban coal imports from North Korea, noting that a fleet of cargo ships had turned back. “That’s a big step, and they have many other steps that I know about,” Trump said at a news conference. He later said he thought Xi “means well and I think he wants to help.”


The Global Times, a Communist Party-affiliated Chinese newspaper, argued in an editorial this week that Beijing should support stiffer UN sanctions against North Korea, including the limit of oil exports, if the country conducts another nuclear test.


Even so, China is getting increasingly alarmed at the brinkmanship. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Friday, “No matter who the nation is, if it continues to provoke wars in the Peninsula, it has to bear this historical responsibility and pay its price.” Bloomberg


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Kanga Kong | Bloomberg

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