0 Likes 0 Dislikes
North Korea's 2017 Military Parade Was a Big Deal
PYONGYANG/SEOUL, April 15 — North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th
anniversary of the birth of its founding father, Kim Il Sung, on Saturday, as a nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier group steamed
towards the region.
Missiles appeared to be the main theme of the giant parade, with Kim’s grandson, leader Kim Jong Un, taking time to greet the commander
of the Strategic Forces, the branch of the military that oversees the missile arsenal.
A US Navy attack on a Syrian airfield this month with Tomahawk missiles raised questions about US President Donald Trump's plans for
North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests in defiance of UN sanctions, regularly threatening to destroy the US.
Mr Kim oversaw the festivities on the Day of the Sun at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il Sung Square.
Marching bands and soldiers filled the square, followed by tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and other weapons.
Single-engine propeller-powered planes flew in a 105 formation overhead.
Unlike at some previous parades attended by Mr Kim, there did not appear to be a senior Chinese official in attendance. China is North
Korea’s lone major ally but has spoken out against its missile and nuclear tests and has supported UN sanctions. China on Friday again
called for talks to defuse the crisis.
Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike, and
we will respond to full out war with full out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare
- Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide to Kim Jong Un
The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland US but officials and experts believe it is
some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.
Choe Ryong Hae, a close aide to Kim Jong Un, addressed the packed square with a characteristically bellicose warning to the United
“If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike,
and we will respond to full out war with full out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare,” he said.
State news agency KCNA said the Trump administration’s “serious military hysteria” had reached a “dangerous phase which can no longer be overlooked”.
The US has warned that a policy of “strategic patience” with North Korea is over. US vice-president Mike Pence travels to South Korea on
Sunday on a long planned 10-day trip to Asia.
China has also stepped up economic pressure on North Korea. It banned all imports of North Korean coal in February under UN sanctions,
cutting off the North’s most important export product.
China's national airline, Air China, weeks ago cancelled some flights to Pyongyang due to poor demand but it has not suspended all
flights there, it said on Friday, denying a report by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV that all flights run by the airline between the two
cities were to be suspended.