North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il-Sung, on Saturday, as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region.
Ahead of Saturday's festive parade, Pyongyang urged Washington to stop its "military hysteria" and come to its "senses" - or otherwise face a merciless response in case of any provocations against North Korea.
Troop formations, missile displays, and armored vehicles rolled through the massive Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, as the country's current leader, Kim Jong Un, perched on the balcony and gave the occasional nod and salute to thousands of his subjects below.
North Korea showed two new kinds of ICBM enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the back of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs.
Pyongyang says the military exercises are practice for an invasion of North Korea, and has warned of a nuclear attack on the United States in retaliation for any signs of aggression.
This year's celebrations come at a tense time on the Korean Peninsula, days after a U.S. strike group was deployed to the region and amid expectations of another missile or nuclear test by Pyongyang.More news: May and Corbyn clash over Brexit in final PMQ session
Meanwhile, Japan is also preparing to send several warships to join the USA aircraft carrier strike group heading for the Korean peninsula, in a show of force created to deter North Korea from conducting further missile and nuclear tests.
A USA military official, who requested anonymity to discuss planning, said Washington has no intention of using military force against Pyongyang in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.
The parade of the Korean People's Army has begun at the Kim Il Sung central square in the capital of North Korea, a TASS correspondent reported.
"Ryomyong Street is an accomplishment that the North wants to promote on the economic front", an official at Seoul's unification ministry, told South Korean Yonhap news.
The United States has warned that a policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea is over.
On Twitter, Mr Trump said he had "great confidence" China would "properly deal with North Korea".More news: Macron gets rough ride in Le Pen country
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.
The arsenal of weapons on display included the new ballistic missile - which is thought to have a range of around 600 miles - and what appeared to be a battery of KN-08 and KN-14 missiles, which analysts believe could reach the USA mainland.
Kim, a 30-something leader who took power in late 2011, emphasizes nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defence strategy. China is North Korea's lone major ally, but has spoken out against its missile and nuclear tests and has supported United Nations sanctions. As it's North Korea, being on display does not necessarily mean they are operational, but the regime is showing that they are in development.
South Korea says North Korea fires unidentified missile but test fails Video Watch: Kim Jong Un presides over vast military parade Sideswipe: April 3: Too much to ask? .
The country under his watch has been aggressively pursuing a goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM capable of reaching the continental United States. But there had been fears that the isolated country would mark the Day of the Sun by conducting a nuclear test - in defiance of USA warnings not to.
It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them previous year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.More news: Trump says US won't leave NAFTA _ for now
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