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Monday , October 26 2020

North Korea flaunts ballistic missiles

No winners if war breaks out: Chinese FM

North Korean soldiers salute while the national anthem is played during a military parade on April 15, in Pyongyang, North Korea to celebrate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the country’s late founder and grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un.

PYONGYANG, North Korea, April 15: (AP): North Korea paraded its intercontinental ballistic missiles in a massive military display in central Pyongyang on Saturday, with ruler Kim Jong Un looking on with delight as his nation flaunted its increasingly sophisticated military hardware amid rising regional tensions. Kim did not speak during the annual parade, which celebrates the 1912 birthday of his late grandfather Kim Il Sung, North Korea’s founding ruler, but a top official warned that the North would stand up to any threat posed by the United States.

Choe Ryong Hae said President Donald Trump was guilty of “creating a war situation” on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching US forces to the region. “We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack,” said Choe, widely seen by analysts as North Korea’s No. 2 official.

The parade, the annual highlight of North Korea’s most important holiday, came amid growing international worries that North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a major missile launch, such as its first fl ight test of an ICBM capable of reaching US shores. But if the parade signaled a readiness for war, North Korea has long insisted that its goal is peace — and survival — with the growing arsenal a way to ensure that the government in Pyongyang is not easily overthrown. North Korea saw the toppling of Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Muammar Gaddafiin Libya — neither of whom had nuclear weapons — as proof of the weapons’ power.

“It will be the largest of miscalculations if the United States treats us like Iraq and Libya, which are living out miserable fates as victims of aggression, and Syria, which didn’t respond immediately even after it was attacked,” said a Friday statement by the general staff of the North Korean army, according to the official Korean Central News Agency. Also Friday, North Korea’s vice foreign minister told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that Trump’s tweets — he recently tweeted, for example, that the North is “looking for trouble” — have infl amed tensions. “Trump is always making provocations with his aggressive words,” Han Song Ryol said.

US retaliatory strikes earlier this month against Syria over a chemical weapons attack on civilians, coupled with Trump’s dispatching of what he called an “armada” of ships to the region, touched off fears in South Korea that the United States was preparing for military action against the North. Pyongyang has also expressed anger over the ongoing annual spring military exercises the US holds with South Korea, which it considers a rehearsal for invasion.

Meanwhile, there can be no winners in a war between the US and North Korea over Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and missile programs, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, while pledging support for dialogue between the sides. Wang’s comments Friday mark the latest attempt to cool tensions by North Korea’s most important ally and key provider of food and fuel aid. Any fighting on the Korean Peninsula is likely to draw in China, which has repeatedly expressed concerns about a wave of refugees and the possible presence of US and South Korean troops on its border. China also has grown increasingly frustrated with the refusal of Kim Jong Un’s regime to heed its admonitions, and in February cut off imports of North Korean coal that provide Pyongyang with a crucial source of foreign currency.

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