Bangladesh Bhutan sign five deals to strengthen cooperation
21 April, 2017, 19:26
PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) - North Korea rolled out intercontinental ballistic missiles and other military hardware at a massive parade on Saturday to celebrate the birthday of the country's late founder, as third-generation leader Kim Jong Un looked on in delight.
The parade 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.
A North Korean missile "blew up nearly immediately" on its test launch just hours before US Vice President Mike Pence was due in South Korea for talks on the North's increasingly defiant arms program.
The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.
Choe Ryong Hae, who some presume as the second-most powerful official in North Korea, said Saturday that the new US government under Donald Trump was "creating a war situation" in the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.
Satellite imagery suggests North Korea could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time. "U.S.A." On Wednesday he seemed more upbeat, tweeting: "Had a very good call last night with the President of China concerning the menace of North Korea". North Korea has been facing pressure from the United States to curtail its programs related to the development of nuclear and ballistic missile capabilities.
KCNA was gushing in its praise of Kim Il Sung, recalling the time he met former USA president Jimmy Carter in 1994. North Korea also launched a long-range rocket previous year that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.
Bangladesh likely to sing six deals with Bhutan
This year's celebrations come at a tense time on the Korean Peninsula, days after a United States strike group was deployed to the region and amid expectations of another missile or nuclear test by Pyongyang.
Wang's comments Friday mark the latest attempt to cool tensions by North Korea's most important ally and key provider of food and fuel aid. On April 9, media reports said that the Pentagon had sent a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier The Carl Vinson and escort ships towards the Korean Peninsula.
Pyongyang has so far staged five nuclear tests, two of them a year ago, and analysis of satellite imagery suggests it could be preparing for a sixth.
The Pentagon and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it wasn't immediately clear what type of missile was involved.
The United States has warned that a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over.
"North Korea is actually benefiting greatly from this stand off - as it plays into their desire to appear to be perceived as a "strong country".
Even without nuclear weapons, the North could cause severe damage with its conventional artillery batteries aimed at the South Korean capital of Seoul. "In this regard, the U.S. poses far greater threat to the world than North Korea", Kosachev said. He is the grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-Un, who was on hand to witness the spectacle.