China warns of war as N Korea vows 'merciless' response to US

2017 Dennis O'Flaherty in seen Sacramento Calif. President Donald Trump’s voters are showing they can be a forgiving lot up to a point. The president’s recent shifts in position on a series

China is seeking Russia's help to cool surging tensions over Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions, the country's foreign minister has told his Moscow counterpart, after Beijing warned of possible conflict over North Korea. But Kim Jong Un recently said his military was preparing for such a test, which could provoke a response from the nation's adversaries.

Choe Ryong Hae said President Donald Trump was guilty of "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching USA forces to the region.

North Korea recently test-fired four ballistic missiles and claims it's close to perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear warhead capable of reaching the USA mainland.

One of the debuts included the Pukkuksong-2 SLBM, a submarine-launched ballistic missile, loaded on trucks, according to Reuters.

American intelligence officials have reportedly said the United States is ready to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons against North Korea if it is sure Pyongyang is about to stage another nuclear weapons test.

Military analysts said the parade featured three types of intercontinental ballistic missiles, one of which appeared to be new.

But now Pyongyang has threatened an "annihilating strike" if Trump "wages reckless provocation against us".

China issued a stern warning yesterday that a conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment", as Pyongyang vowed a "merciless" response to any USA military action.

The military spectacle was organised amid rising tensions between Pyongyang and Washington. Pictures on state television showed thousands of soldiers marching in formation alongside tanks, balloons and enormous crowds.

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The state TV also showed several KN-08 missiles being rolled out on trucks at the parade. Liquid-fueled missiles can't move as easily and so tend to be sitting ducks, if the USA or another country chose to take them out.

Adding to Chinese unease, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that "the problem of North Korea" would be "taken care of".

For outside military analysts, though, the highlight is the weaponry that the North puts on display. These missiles concern South Korea because they're harder to detect before launch than liquid-fuel missiles, which need to be filled with fuel before launch and also require fuel trucks and other vehicles that could be spotted by satellites.

Kim, a 30-something leader who took power in late 2011, emphasizes nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defense strategy. The country under his watch has been aggressively pursuing a goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM capable of reaching the continental United States.

In his annual New Year's address, Kim said North Korea's preparations for an ICBM launch had "reached the final stage".

This year, however, the holiday also showcased what appeared to be long-range and submarine-based missiles: weapons the country has always been warned against possessing.

Other senior officials joining Kim at the parade podium included Kim Won Hong, who the South Korean government had said earlier this year was sacked from his job as state security minister, presumably over corruption.

Another missile launch or nuclear test "can't be ruled out", he said, but the recent United States cruise missile strike on Syria and Washington's tough stance "may give Pyongyang some pause". South Korea has a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea, as information about the secretive, authoritarian state is often impossible to confirm.

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