North Korea parades military weapons, but no nuke test

In this image made from video broadcast by North Korean broadcaster KRT soldiers take part in a parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang Saturday

The biggest source of foreign currency for North Korea stands to be China, to which it sells millions of tons of coal.

In February, they cut off imports of North Korean coal - with a major source of income for the country.

But if the parade signaled a readiness for war, North Korea has long insisted that its goal is peace - and survival - with the growing arsenal a way to ensure that the government in Pyongyang is not easily overthrown.

It is hard to judge the capacity or credibility of the North Korean missiles from the parade alone but what is clear is that the military is continuing to focus heavily on their development. Amid rising regional tensions, Pyongyang residents have been preparing for North Korea's mo. However, the vice minister of foreign affairs told Tracy that North Korea will eventually go through with that test at a time of their choosing.

"North Korea is a problem", President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday.

It came as Press TV reported that Japan is finalising plans to evacuate 60,000 of its citizens from South Korea in war does break out. North Korea is already under United Nations sanctions over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Pence arrived in the region a day after North Korea celebrated the birth anniversary of the country's late founder with a military parade showing off missiles and military hardware. Third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un watched in delight from a podium.

North Korea warned the United States on Saturday to end its "military hysteria" or face retaliation as a U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region and the reclusive state marked the "Day of the Sun", the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father.

One of the missiles in particular caught the attention of South Korean military analysts watching via the North's state television broadcast.

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

A USA military official, who requested anonymity to discuss planning, said Washington has no intention of using military force against Pyongyang in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.

A senior North Korean official used the parade to accuse the U.S. of "creating a war situation" with the recent dispatch of warships to the region.

"They have an indigenous tank system now so they have more launchers, and they have solid fuel, which means they can launch a lot more of these things in quick succession without having to refuel", Melissa Hanham, an expert at California's James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies said. Analysts say commercial satellite images from recent weeks indicate increased activity around North Korea's nuclear test site.

Last year North Korea, which regularly fires off short-range rockets, launched a long-range missile and carried out two nuclear tests.

Kim, a 30-something leader who took power in late 2011, emphasizes nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defense strategy.



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