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North Korea displays submarine-based missiles for first time at military parade

20 April 2017

North Korea displayed its submarine-launched ballistic missile and the land-based version it launched last month as well as two new intercontinental ballistic missile-sized canisters as the military paraded down Kim Il Sung Square, analysts said. The parade was in celebration of the 105th birthday of the regime's founder and former leader Kim Il-sung.

North Koreans offer flowers in front of a mural of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

"It will be the largest of miscalculations if the United States treats us like Iraq and Libya, which are living out miserable fates as victims of aggression, and Syria, which didn't respond immediately even after it was attacked", said a Friday statement by the general staff of the North Korean army, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Kim Il Sung's grandson, looked relaxed in a dark suit and laughing with aides as he oversaw the huge parade on the "Day of the Sun" at Pyongyang's main Kim Il Sung Square.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in South Korea at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia that comes amid turmoil along the Korean Peninsula over North Korea's threats to advance its growing nuclear and defense capabilities.

There can be no winners in a war between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programs, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, while pledging support for dialogue between the sides.

China's Global Times newspaper, which is published by the People's Daily, the Communist Party's official paper, said North Korea must have felt the shockwave from the 11-ton "mother of all bombs" dropped by US forces on Islamic State-linked fighters in Afghanistan on Thursday.

North Korea is working to develop a nuclear missile that can strike the United States.

Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

China, North Korea's sole major ally and neighbour which nevertheless opposes its weapons program, on Friday again called for talks to defuse the crisis.

For outside military analysts, though, the highlight is the weaponry that the North puts on display.

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North Korea is thought to have a small arsenal of atomic bombs and an impressive array of short- and medium-range missiles.

North Korea showed off what appeared to be three long-range missiles, at least one apparently new.

The officials are hopeful China and Russian Federation would agree to tighter United Nations sanctions on North Korea if it conducts another nuclear test.

The North regularly launches short-range missiles, but is also developing mid-range and long-range missiles meant to target USA troops in Asia and, eventually, the US mainland.

Other military hardware at the parade included tanks, multiple rocket launchers and artillery, as well as a solid-fuel missile created to be fired from submarines.

There were no further details, and the office said it was analysing the launch. The ICBMs would be the largest weapons the country has produced.

Other senior officials joining Kim on the parade podium included Kim Won-hong, who the South Korean government had said earlier this year was sacked from his job as state security minister, presumably over corruption.

Kim Jong-un did not speak at the parade but waved from a balcony.

Tensions in the region have surged to fresh heights in recent days with speculation mounting that the North is preparing a sixth nuclear test.

Then came the tanks, rockets and missiles, including what appeared to be several types of never-before-seen long-range missiles. South Korea has a spotty record of tracking developments in North Korea, as information about the secretive, authoritarian state is often impossible to confirm.

North Korea displays submarine-based missiles for first time at military parade