North Korea Flashes Prototype ICBMs at ‘Day of the Sun’ Parade

Communist country seeks to display military might as tensions with U.S. escalate

North Korea touted two prototype Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) during an annual celebration for the “Day of the Sun,” commemorating the birth of Kim Il-Sung. To some observers, the display of the missiles during a massive military parade was underwhelming after North Korea had stoked speculation over a sixth nuclear weapons test.

North Korea put the world on edge this week when reports circulated indicating that the country’s “Supreme Leader,” Kim Jong-Un, was considering testing a nuclear device during the 105th birthday celebration of his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, the founder and former President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike.”

“If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike, and we will respond to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare,” Choe Ryong Hae, a top aide of Kim Jong-Un’s, told a crowd gathered at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il-sung Square, Reuters reported.

North Korea, having already successfully tested nuclear weapons, has been attempting steady progress in missile-delivery technology. During the April 15 parade, two types of North Korean missiles were presented to Kim Jong-Un: long-range ballistic and submarine-based missiles.

Observers, however, suggested the ICBMs may not even have been complete, since the entire weapon was encased in a canister.

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“We don’t know what — if anything — was inside the canisters, since North Korea hasn’t publicly shown off or tested any missile of that size before,” analyst Ankit Panda wrote for The Diplomat. “We can infer given the size of the canister and the fact that it was paraded on Saturday that Pyongyang wants the world to know that it is actively working toward at least two types of solid-fuel, canisterized ICBMs.”

Increasingly aggressive rhetoric has been flowing out of North Korea in recent weeks as the nation works to advance its nuclear delivery capability.

“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 U.S. preemptive strike,”Han Song Ryol, North Korea’s vice foreign minister, told the Associated Press.

Advanced ICBMs could strike Hawaii or the U.S. mainland. Chinese officials have warned both sides to deescalate the tension.

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“The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference, according to The Washington Post. “We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory or threatening statements or deeds to prevent irreversible damage to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”

President Donald Trump has put U.S. military capabilities on display across the globe. A little over a week ago, Trump ordered an airstrike in Syria in retaliation for a chemical attack that killed more than 80 Syrian civilians. On Thursday, the U.S. dropped its most powerful non-nuclear “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan, which killed at least 94 Islamic State terrorists.

Trump has also been calling for China and other countries to aid in helping the U.S. deal properly with North Korean aggression and its defiance against U. N. sanctions.

“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.

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“I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.,” Trump added in a tweet Thursday.

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