North Korea celebrates 'Day of the Sun' with defiant show of might

North Korea did not, however, carry out another nuclear test or ballistic missile launch, against widespread speculation that it would seek to celebrate Kim Il Sung's 105th birthday with a bang.

EARLIER: AS North Korea held a huge parade for the 105th anniversary of founder Kim Il Sung, his grandson Kim Jong-un has threatened "nuclear justice". Common among the annual holiday are the shows of uniformity and Maoist-inflected ideology that were on display during the Saturday parade, including parcels of tanks and ordnance and goose-stepping processions.

Kim Jong-un reviews the parade featuring new long-range missiles.

State television showed what appeared to be several KN-08 intercontinental missiles rolled out on trucks at the parade.

The US attack on a Syrian airfield has raised questions over its plans for North Korea. However, Han committed to North Korea's response should the US retaliate.

South Korea, which hosts 28,500 US troops, warned of punitive action if the launch led to further provocations such as a nuclear test or a long-range missile launch.

China's state-run media warned that the U.S. President was mistaken if he believed that piling military pressure on North Korea would resolve the regime's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

The U.S. had good intelligence both before and after the launch, said a White House foreign policy adviser traveling with Vice President Mike Pence, who arrived in Seoul in the afternoon to start a 10-day trip to Asia.

The Trump administration still has not ruled out military options in dealing with North Korea, according to the Times, and on Saturday, North Korean officials continued its tough talk against the United States. The communist country has been regularly conducting nuclear and missile tests defying United Nations' resolutions and sanctions.

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Prior to the parade, Kim's close aide Choe Ryong-hae also addressed the participants, voicing the country's readiness to respond in kind to any attack by enemies.

But it's very unlikely that North Korea has that technology at this stage.

However, days later, he tweeted: "North Korea is looking for trouble".

North Korea has been working on solid fuel - which, unlike liquid fuel, can be preloaded into missiles - as a way to fire missiles quickly to avoid prior detection by satellites.

DPRK stands for the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Military 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.

As tensions between North Korea and the US rose in recent days, speculation had grown that Kim Jong Un would conduct a nuclear test or other major military test.

North Korea launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests previous year, including its most powerful to date, and there have been a slew of shorter range missile firings.

Always high animosity has risen on the Korean Peninsula in recent months, as the United States and South Korea conduct annual war games that North Korea claims are invasion preparation and the North prepared for Saturday's anniversary celebrations.

Kim has overseen three nuclear tests and a string of missile and rocket launches since taking over after the death of his father, dictator Kim Jong Il, in late 2011.

  • Adam Floyd