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

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made an appearance at an vast military parade celebrating the birthday of his late grandfather and North Korea founder Kim Il-sung.

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

North Koreans are preparing for the country's biggest holiday - the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country's late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un has engaged in a war of words with President Trump amid recent missile tests.

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States, but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.

The move, coupled with the USA retaliatory strikes last week against Syria over a chemical weapons attack on civilians, and the depoyment of a huge bomb against IS positions in Afghanistan earlier this week, touched off fear in South Korea that the United States was preparing for military action against the North.

The hardware displayed Saturday included what appeared to be new ICBMs or prototypes, and the Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missile, which Pyongyang successfully test-fired last August, reports and analysts said.

Kim did not address the rally himself on Saturday, instead waving and smiling as ecstatic crowds of flag- and flower-bearing civilians - men in suits, women in traditional hanbok dresses - filed past him behind the military display.

North Korea unveiled what appeared to be new intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) at its Day of the Sun parade on Saturday, amid increasing fears its trying to develop a model that could hit the United States. Also on display was a powerful mid-range missile that outside analysts call a "Musudan", and which can potentially reach USA air bases in Guam, as well as a new solid-fuel mid-range missile that can be fired from land mobile launchers, making them harder to detect before launch.

The isolated dictatorship's state-run TV showed what appeared to be several KN-08 and KN-14 missiles rolled out on trucks at the parade.

Trump administration officials describe the situation as more unsafe than in the past, because of the progress North Korea has made in its nuclear weapon and missile programs and because of the hostility on both sides.

Other weaponry exhibit during the parade included tanks, multiple rocket launchers and artillery guns, as well as a solid-fuel missile created to be fired from submarines.

Although DefCon doubts missiles from North Korea could hit United States mainland - others are not so sure. The country conducted two nuclear tests previous year.

Large rockets covered by canisters in two different types of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs, were seen paraded in the streets. "We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier", said President Donald Trump to Fox Business Network on Wednesday.

  • Jon Douglas