North Korea has begun a vast military parade to celebrate the birth of its founding father, Kim Il-sung, and warned that it was prepared to take the “toughest” action unless the United States ended its “military hysteria”, The Guardian reports.
This development comes amidst speculations that the regime was preparing to conduct a nuclear test.
A senior North Korean official used the parade to accuse the US of “creating a war situation” with the recent dispatch of warships to the region.
“We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack,” Choe Ryong-hae said during the parade.
Speaking just before the parade, Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies said he was looking out for “the possibility of a new ICBM”, adding, “there may be some surprises.”
China’s state-run media warned that the US President was mistaken if he believed that piling military pressure on North Korea would resolve the regime’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
The Global Times said Trump’s decision to drop the “mother of all bombs” on Afghanistan was clearly “a new gimmick in US military deterrence” designed to intimidate Kim Jong-un.
“North Korea must have felt the shock wave travelling all the way from Afghanistan,” the Communist party-controlled newspaper said in an editorial.
Earlier, as the USS aircraft carrier Carl Vinson and its strike group sailed towards the peninsula, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency, citing a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People’s Army, warned of a “merciless” retaliation against any US provocation.
US President Donald Trump’s decision to send an “armada” of warships to water off the tense peninsula, coupled with recent US strikes in Syria and Afghanistan, were proof that Washington had chosen the path of “open threat and blackmail”, KCNA said.
“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,” it added.
It said the Trump administration’s “serious military hysteria” had reached a “dangerous phase that can no longer be overlooked”.
As North Korea’s only ally, China has come under unprecedented pressure in recent days to use its influence to persuade Kim not to risk conflict with a nuclear test or ballistic missile launch.