Published: Fri, April 28, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

North Korea warns Trump: 'We're ready to launch nuclear strike'

North Korea warns Trump: 'We're ready to launch nuclear strike'

"Our toughest counteraction against the US and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive", a spokesperson for North Korea's military said ahead of the parade, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.

"We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike", he said.

"It's in their interest to see North and South Korea reunited in a sensible way, that would end the North Korean nuclear weapons program and in my view that's the only way it's going to happen", he said.

North Korea's vice foreign minister Han Song Ryol told The Associated Press on Friday that "Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words".

North Korea, still technically at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce but not a treaty, has on occasion conducted missile or nuclear tests to coincide with big political events and often threatens the United States, South Korea and Japan.

"If the USA comes with reckless military manoeuvres then we will confront it with a pre-emptive strike".

Mr Johnson said: "We stand alongside our global partners in making clear that North Korea must adhere to United Nations resolutions created to secure peace and stability in the region and stop its pursuit of nuclear weapons".

This year's celebrations come at a tense time on the Korean Peninsula, days after a United States strike group was deployed to the region and amid expectations of another missile or nuclear test by Pyongyang.

As the world held its breath amid growing nuclear tension thousands of North Korean soldiers, sailors and airmen put on a intimidating display of military might.

The parade, an elaborate display of the state's vast power, involves tens of thousands of participants, from goose-stepping soldiers to crowds of civilians who have spent weeks perfecting their ability to wave plastic flowers in unison.

Military experts generally agree a shooting war with North Korea would likely be far more costly than something along the lines of the recent targeted strike Trump ordered against a Syrian air base believed to be linked to a chemical weapons attack by the regime of Bashar Assad.

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The rockets carried on articulated trailers appeared to be longer than the North's existing KN-08 or KN-14 missiles, analysts said.

The US has warned that a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over.

The Pentagon and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it wasn't immediately clear what type of missile was involved.

The response came with the grand bluster normally included in statements by North Korea, bluster like "nuclear justice".

The Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also on parade.

Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square, next to the Taedonggang River that flows through Pyongyang, in the hazy spring sunshine as tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and other weapons waited to parade.

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

In his annual New Year's address, Kim said North Korea's preparations for an ICBM launch had "reached the final stage". Pyongyang recently tested a ballistic missile and claims it is close to perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear warhead that could attack the US mainland. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests since 2006.

It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them past year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets land in waters close to Japan last month.

Other senior officials joining Kim at the 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.

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