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

Apr 16, 2017, 02:25
China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' North Korea situation

North Korea yesterday displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il-sung, as a nuclear-powered United States aircraft carrier group steamed toward the region.

A huge parade in Pyongyang was held amid speculation current leader Kim Jong-un could order a new nuclear test.

The US Navy dispatched the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson strike group to the region last weekend, and US President Donald Trump has been tweeting this week that if China can't rein in North Korea's nuclear program the US will. The move triggered questions about Trump's plans for North Korea, which has conducted several missile and nuclear tests.

Choe Ryong-hae, a vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), said that North Korea is ready for a war if the USA takes military action. Analysts say the missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States, although North Korea has yet to flight test them.

The comments came just as North Korea marked the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founding president, Kim Il-sung, the BBC reports.

"However, North Korea has a habit of showing off new concepts in parades before they ever test or launch them", Hanham said. Cold launches would also allow the missiles to be fired from silos.

In an editorial, China's Global Times newspaper said North Korea likely felt the shockwaves from the 11-ton "mother of all bombs" that the United States dropped in Afghanistan on Thursday.

The North also past year launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology. At a parade in 2015, North Korea claimed its KN-14 missiles had nuclear warheads on their tips.

If North Korea has ICBMs, it could give it the ability to strike targets in the mainland United States and Europe.

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"The North Korean military and people always maintain a state of complete readiness to make every super-hardline response, including a nuclear strike".

Submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also among the sophisticated military hardware on show for the first time, indicating an improving technological capability that could help it evade anti-missile systems.

The parade also included large rockets covered by canisters in two different types of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs.

Unlike at some previous parades attended by Kim Jong-un, there did not appear to be a senior Chinese official in attendance. He then walked up to a podium and clapped with senior government officials to address the thousands of soldiers and a massive crowd taking part in the parade at Kim Il Sung Square.

Even though the administration has indicated that military option is among the options under review, there are many signs that North Korea is not Syria - as military action against the former carries far greater risks. South Korea has a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea, as information about the secretive, authoritarian state is often impossible to confirm.

Ostensibly Saturday's event was to mark the 105th anniversary of Kim Il-Sung's birth - a date known as the "Day of the Sun" in the North - and a squadron of warplanes flew overhead forming the number.

North Korean state television showed Kim, wearing a black suit and white shirt, stepping out of a black limousine.

Trump posted a tweet Tuesday in which he said the North is "looking for trouble" and reiterated his call for more pressure from Beijing, North Korea's economic lifeline, to clamp down on trade and strengthen its enforcement of United Nations sanctions to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize. The missiles use solid fuel, making them easier to load and harder to detect than liquid fuel rockets.