The tone of tensions: Korean voices, North and South

Air China

Air China

Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square Saturday where North Korea's young leader reviewed tanks, multiple-launch rocket systems and other weapons that rolled by.

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.

However, Associated Press quoted U.S. officials as saying that the Trump administration was focusing more on raising pressure on North Korea with the help of China rather than using military force.

In a New Year's speech on January 1, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the country was in its "final stage" of test-firing an ICBM that could reach the US mainland.

China's state-run media warned that the US President was mistaken if he believed that piling military pressure on North Korea would resolve the regime's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

But Choe Ryong Hae, reportedly the second-most powerful official in the country, said in a speech that Pyongyang is prepared for any threat posed by the United States.

Also, whether Kim, flanked by high-ranking officials at a balcony overlooking the square, will make a speech is being closely watched.

The country's biggest national holiday called the "Day of the Sun" came amid growing speculation that Pyongyang could conduct its sixth nuclear test. In these conditions, Pyongyang declares its intention to strengthen its nuclear-missile potential amid the aggressive policy of the United States. The North also previous year launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.

"However, North Korea has a habit of showing off new concepts in parades before they ever test or launch them", Hanham said.

Kim Jong Un didn't speak before North Korean television ended the live broadcast.

Kim, the analyst, said it's likely that North Korea is also developing solid-fuel ICBMs, and that some of the rockets inside the canisters on Saturday might have been prototypes.

North Korea has attempted to launch a missile near Sinpo, on its east coast, but the missile blew up nearly immediately, a U.S. military spokesman says.

"One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment", Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after meeting his French colleague Jean-Marc Ayrault on Friday.

Friday media reports pointed to satellite observations suggesting that North Korea could be preparing for yet another nuclear test in the coming days.

North Korea yesterday denounced the United States for bringing "huge nuclear strategic assets" to the region as the USS Carl Vinson strike group with a flagship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier steamed closer.

Latest News