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S. Korea on Heightened Alert as Isolated North Readies for Army Celebration

21 April 2017

A video posted on local news site DVHab.ru showed a train carrying heavy military equipment, including Tor surface-to-air missile systems, traveling through the city of Khabarovsk - purportedly moving south toward Vladivostok, which is 160 kilometers from the border. North Korea always denounces training exercises involving America, South Korea, and other allies, portraying them as practice sessions for a full-scale invasion and sometimes even as the first stage of an invasion disguised as a training exercise.

"In the case of our super-mighty pre-emptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only USA imperialists' invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the United States mainland and reduce them to ashes", it said.

A flurry of military activity in Russia's far east came as the UN Security Council condemned North Korea's latest missile test and threatened to impose new sanctions against Pyongyang for its "highly destabilising behaviour".

Russian Federation wanted to include language contained in previous statements and resolutions stressing the need to achieve a peaceful solution "through dialogue".

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"It is a situation where a lot of (military) exercise equipment is amassed in North Korea and also a lot of strategic assets are situated on the Korean peninsula because of the South Korea-US military drills", Lee told a briefing. Russian Federation insisted on including language from previous council statements calling for "dialogue" with Pyongyang.

It was the fifth time this year that the council has adopted a press statement on North Korea.

"I think at the end of the day we realized North Korea is a problem and no one on the council wants to see North Korea move forward with any sort of testing or strikes ... and if we have to start looking at sanctions or other actions we will". However, the UN Security Council and the Secretariat have failed to respond to their demand to date.

The US Navy's Carl Vinson Strike Group is set to be deployed to the Korean Peninsula amid growing fears related to Pyongyang's missile program, according to media reports.

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Tensions over North Korea have risen sharply following two nuclear weapons tests by Pyonygang in 2016 and a series of ballistic-missile tests.

On April 17, North Korea attempted to launch a ballistic missile that exploded within seconds after it took off, according to US and South Korean defense officials.

Meanwhile, a U.S. naval strike group is on its way to the western Pacific Ocean in a bid to provide its presence near the Korean Peninsula amid concerns over Pyongyang's missile tests.

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S. Korea on Heightened Alert as Isolated North Readies for Army Celebration