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Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

North Korea celebrated its founder's birthday with an extravagant military display

North Korea celebrated its founder's birthday with an extravagant military display

North Korea has raised the terrifying prospect of nuclear war amid recent developments that have seen the US Navy send a strike group into the Korean peninsula to boost defences and provide a more physical presence in the area.

In a live broadcast, a newsreader from North Korea's state-run television service called the new military hardware the country's "modernised strategic missiles".

Saturday marks the birthday of the country's founder, Kim Il-sung - a national holiday called Day of the Sun - and experts believe Pyongyang may use the occasion to carry out a missile launch or nuclear test, according to The Guardian.

However, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Friday that the Trump administration has settled on a policy that will emphasize on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of China, North Korea's only major ally, instead of military options or trying to overthrow Kim's leadership. China has supported United Nations sanctions against North Korea.

North Korea has not made secret its desire to boost its military power, while a USA naval strike group is now heading to waters off the Korean Peninsula in a show of force, following high-profile U.S. military attacks this month on Syria and the Islamic State in a remote part of Afghanistan.

President Donald Trump is much more "vicious" and "aggressive" than his predecessor, a North Korean official argued Friday.

According to new reports from NBC News, the United States is considering a missile strike on North Korea if the country pursues a planned nuclear weapons test, which may occur as early as this weekend.

Many North Korea watchers believe North Korea could have a viable nuclear warhead and a ballistic missile capable of hitting the US mainland on Trump's watch as president - within the next few years.

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Choe Ryong-hae, a close aide to Kim Jong-un, addressed the packed square with a warning to the US.

The Global Times said Trump's decision to drop the "mother of all bombs" on Afghanistan was clearly "a new gimmick in U.S. military deterrence" created to intimidate Kim Jong-un.

North Korea, meanwhile, has been conducting nuclear weapons tests.

Both China, the North's sole major ally, and Russian Federation have urged restraint, with Beijing's foreign minister, Wang Yi, warning on Friday that "conflict could break out at any moment".

Speaking in Beijing yesterday, China's foreign minister Wang Yi warned the region is facing a "precarious situation" and that a conflict could break out "at any moment".

North Korea displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles at an anniversary parade in Pyongyang on Saturday, in another characteristic show of strength.

U.S. vice president Mike Spence is due to travel to South Korea on Sunday for a 10-day trip to Asia that was planned before the Syrian missile strike.

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