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Kim Jong-Un oversees North Korea display of military strength amid tension

Saturday April 15, 2017 10:11 AM, Agencies

Kim Jong Un

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un Saturday saluted as ranks of goose-stepping soldiers followed by tanks and other military hardware paraded in Pyongyang for a show of strength with tensions mounting over his nuclear ambitions.

After inspecting an honour guard, Kim, in a black suit, watched the parade pour into Kim Il-Sung Square, accompanied by top military and party leaders, state television showed in a live broadcast, according to AFP.

Led by rows of military bands, columns of troops toting rifles and a troupe of sword-wielding female soldiers marched into the vast square in the heart of the city which was festooned in the national colours of blue, white and red.

"Today's parade will provide a chance to display our powerful military might," a male voiceover said on the TV broadcast.

The event is to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of Kim's grandfather, the North's founder Kim Il-Sung -– a date known as the "Day of the Sun" in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the country's official name. But it is also intended to send an unmistakable message to Washington about the isolated, nuclear-armed North's military might.

Earlier US President Donald Trump said the North Korea problem "will be taken care of", as speculation mounted the reclusive state could be preparing another nuclear or missile test.

Trump sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group described as 'armada' to the Korean peninsula to press his point, one of a series of measures that indicate his willingness to shake up foreign policy strategy.

North Korean state media later warned of a nuclear attack on the United States at any sign of aggression as the US aircraft strike group sailed towards the Korean peninsula.

China on Friday while stating that there would be no winner in any war warned a conflict over North Korea could break out "at any moment".

"Lately, tensions have risen... and one has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment," Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi said, according to AFP.

"If a war occurs, the result is a situation in which everybody loses and there can be no winner."

Whichever side provoked a conflict "must assume the historic responsibility and pay the corresponding price," he said in a joint press conference with his visiting French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Meanwhile, Japan is also preparing to send several warships to join the US aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, in a show of force designed to deter North Korea from conducting further missile and nuclear tests.

Citing two well-placed sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, Reuters and the Kyodo news agency said several destroyers from Japan’s maritime self-defence forces would join the USS Carl Vinson and its battle group as it enters the East China Sea.


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