North Korean Leader Appears in Parade

Lauren Perry
April 16, 2017

A fresh North Korean missile test failed when it exploded after launch Sunday, the United States military said, a day after Pyongyang publicly showcased its ballistic arsenal at a giant military parade.

Adding to Chinese unease, US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that "the problem of North Korea" would be "taken care of".

Meanwhile, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol accused Trump of fanning tensions between the two countries with his "aggressive" tweets, and he said Trump was "becoming more vicious and more aggressive" than previous presidents.

Military analysts say the missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the continental United States, although the North has yet to flight test them.

A South Korean defence official said the action took place in Sinpo, a port city in eastern North Korea.

He has repeatedly said if China, North Korea's dominant trading partner, is unwilling to do more to pressure the North, the US might take the matter into its own hands.

A short while after the launch, a statement from the U.S. Pacific Command said the missile blew up nearly immediately and that its type was still being assessed.

But the timing of the test, as American Vice President Mike Pence was travelling to the region and following the North Korean military parade in which what appeared to be new long-range ballistic missiles were on display, suggests deliberate defiance.

The extended-range Scud missile in that earlier launch suffered an in-flight failure and fell into the sea off North Korea's east coast, according to USA imagery and assessments.

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Missiles are paraded across Kim Il Sung Square during a military parade Saturday in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Along with the deployment of the Naval aircraft carrier and other vessels into waters off the Korean Peninsula, thousands of US and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were also deployed last month in their biggest-ever joint military exercises.

Washington and Seoul will try hard to figure out what exactly North Korea fired.

(KRT via AP). In this image made from video provided by North Korean broadcaster KRT, missiles are displayed during a parade at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, Saturday, April 15, 2017.

Since taking power in late 2011, the North Korean leader has executed or purged many high-level government officials in what the South Korean government has described as a "reign of terror".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un celebrates his grandfather's birthday every year with a great fanfare to boost his own legitimacy as the successor to the communist dynasty. China is North Korea's only major ally.

This year's celebrations of the anniversary, known as "Festival of the Sun", came amid high tensions as Washington threatened to strike the East Asian country for its nuclear and missile tests.

The UN Security Council has imposed six sets of sanctions against the North since its first nuclear test in 2006 - all of which have failed to halt its drive for what it insists are defensive weapons.

Military vehicles carry missiles with characters reading "Pukkuksong" during the military parade in North Korean marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung.

Other reports by VgToday

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