N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country's founder

N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country's founder

The parade also featured North Korea's new solid-fuel missiles, which can be fired from land or under the sea.

The North also showed off various other ballistic missiles including what it claims to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile.

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.

North Korea has a history of marking significant dates with shows of military capability, and it was its ICBMs that were most notable on the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have risen amid concerns over the United States' possible pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

Choe Ryong Hae, who some presume as the second-most powerful official in North Korea, said the new USA government under Donald Trump was "creating a war situation" in the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.

A White House foreign policy adviser says the type of missile that North Korea tried to fire on Sunday was medium-range, and that it exploded 4-5 seconds after it was launched. That decision of the USA administration caused serious concerns of the North Korean leadership, which does not exclude the possibility of a missile strike by the US. Moving forces near the peninsula, even as a preemptive measure, could increase the risk of a large-scale conflict.

Pence is due in Seoul at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia in what his aides said was a sign of the US commitment to its ally in the face of the rising tension.

Kim's military has been trying to develop a missile capable of reaching mainland America.

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China's state broadcaster CCTV announced on Friday that Air China-the only foreign carrier operating commercial flights into North Korea-would suspend services to Pyongyang from next week.

"Lately, tensions have risen with the USA and the ROK (South Korea) on one side, and the DPRK on the other, and one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment", Wang said at a joint news conference with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in Beijing later in the day. Recent satellite imagery suggests the country could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time. The country launched a long-range rocket and conducted the two nuclear tests previous year, including its most powerful to date.

North Korean school boys sing at the Mangyongdae Children's Palace on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

President Donald Trump was uncharacteristically quiet about the failed launch of a North Korean missile from the country's east coast.

The North has warned of a nuclear strike against the United States if provoked.

In terms of national pride though, nothing comes close to the nuclear program, and Pyongyang may decide that the best way to honor its late leader - and defy pressure from the U.S. and China - is with a sixth nuclear test.

North Korea is not believed to have an intercontinental missile capable to hitting the USA with a nuclear weapon, but the Korean People's Army is more than a million strong with some 600,000 reserves and dwarfs that of South Korea, which is half the size. North Korean then fired the missile at a lofted angle for testing purposes.

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff says that North Korea has attempted to launch a missile from an eastern coastal city, but the launch appeared to end in failure.

Today is the 105th anniversary of the birth of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, an affair typically marked with a military parade, but some this year believe it could also result in a missile launch or nuclear test.

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