China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' North Korea situation

  • China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' North Korea situation

China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' North Korea situation

North Korea showed off its military might during a parade in Pyongyang on Saturday, in celebration of its founder's birthday. That raised questions about US President Donald Trump's plans for North Korea, which has conducted several missiles and nuclear tests in defiance of United Nations and unilateral sanctions.

After inspecting an honor guard, Kim, in a black suit, watched the parade pour into Kim Il-Sung Square, accompanied by top military and party leaders, state television showed in a live broadcast.

Military planes flew in formation, creating the number "105" above Kim Il Sung Square.

It has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland USA but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering the necessary technology.

The North Korean military issued a statement on Friday threatening to attack major USA military bases in South Korea, as well as the presidential Blue House, warning that it could annihilate those targets "within minutes". South Korea has a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea, as information about the secretive, authoritarian state is often impossible to confirm.

North Korea's Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also on parade for the first time.

North Korea also showcased short-range missiles Saturday that could threaten its neighbors in Asia.

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.

Tension had escalated sharply in the region amid concerns that the reclusive North may soon conduct a sixth nuclear test or a ballistic missile test launch timed with the April 15 anniversary it calls the "Day of the Sun".

"We're prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and we are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks", Choe Ryong-Hae said in a speech at a ceremony before a large military parade started.

Along with goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands, some weapons analysts have said they believe new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) were among those on display - while acknowledging that the designs may be in their early stages. But there had been fears that the isolated country would mark the Day of the Sun by conducting a nuclear test - in defiance of USA warnings not to.

The most recent North Korean nuclear test occurred on September 9, a holiday called the Day of the Foundation of the Republic that commemorates the day the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) was founded in 1948, akin to the Fourth of July.

Trump has dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson and an accompanying battle group to the Korean peninsula.

North Korea has repeatedly accused President Trump of provoking armed conflict and has issued multiple threats of retaliation.