On Saturday, North Korea performed what appeared to be a formidable display of its military strength and array of new weaponry at a huge parade – perceived by many as a clear message of defiance sent to the United States of America – just as a group US aircraft carriers is directed towards the vicinity of North Korea.
The rhetoric emanating from Pyongyang is a major cause for concern for the United States, whose actions were described as “military hysteria” by North Korea, which also warned its counterparts in the West that it was prepared to undertake the “toughest” actions if the US does not temper its military strategy in the region. All of this comes as speculation increases that North Korea is preparing to carry out a sixth nuclear test, in defiance of sanctions from several countries and international bodies.
In a startling display in the country’s capital, tens of thousands of soldiers and a variety of military vehicles flooded Kim Il-sung Square in celebration of the birthday of Kim Il-sung. It is unknown just how much of the weaponry that was on show during the parade is operational, and some experts have cast doubt over the claims that missiles with the range to reach the United States are close to completion.
“North Korea has a habit of showing off new concepts in parades before they ever test or launch them,” explains Melissa Hanham, a senior researcher at Middlebury Institute of International Studies in California, “It is still early days for these designs.”
Just hours after the parade, though, South Korea and United States military officials reported that North Korea had launched a missile, only for it to fail by detonating too soon. The United States claims that the missile detonated just seconds after it was launched.
The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, has flown to South Korea following the incident, and described the attempted missile launch as a “provocation” from North Korea:
“This morning’s provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face everyday in the defence of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defence of America in this part of the world,” Pence told an assembly of soldiers at a military base in Seoul.
US military officials reported that the missile “blew up almost immediately” – it is thought to be unlikely that the launch was of an intercontinental long range missile, however investigations to ascertain more information on the missile are ongoing.
Following his meeting with President Xi Jinping of China, Donald Trump tweeted last week that he has “great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the U.S., with its allies, will! U.S.A.”
Vice President Mike Pence, who is in South Korea for a 10 day tour, reiterated the importance of the alliance between the United States and South Korea; the growing tensions in the Korean region has thrown the vitality of their partnership into sharp relief:
“Our commitment to this historic alliance with the courageous people of South Korea has never been stronger.
With your help, and with God’s help, freedom will ever prevail on this peninsula.”
China, along with the rest of the world, appears concerned that the prevailing tensions between the United States and North Korea are going to reach breaking point, and has urged both nations to refrain from further provocation, fearing the prospect of war.
Source: Viral Thread