N.Korea shows off 'ICBM' during massive parade

N.Korea shows off 'ICBM' during massive parade

Pyongyang insists on readiness for nuclear war amid spike in tensions with U.S

By Alex Jensen

SEOUL (AA) - North Korea revealed a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile Saturday, as the reclusive state marked its most important holiday with a first major military show since 2015.

A stream of weapons were paraded between rows of thousands of soldiers gathered for the Day of the Sun in celebration of the birthday of the nation's late founder Kim Il-sung. One of the missiles in particular caught the attention of South Korean military analysts watching via the North's state television broadcast.

"It's presumed to be a new ICBM," a Seoul official was quoted as saying by Yonhap News Agency.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un -- seen supervising the parade -- warned earlier this year that his country was preparing to test an ICBM capable of reaching the mainland United States.

Meanwhile, an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group has been dispatched to boost an array of military capabilities available to Washington in South Korea and the wider region.

Speculation has been intensifying that U.S. President Donald Trump might order a pre-emptive strike on North Korea if it shows imminent signs of a significant provocation such as a sixth ever nuclear test.

But the North's Workers' Party of Korea Vice Chairman Choe Ryong-hae said in a speech Saturday that Pyongyang is ready to respond to the U.S. with "an all-out war" including nukes.

North Korea has continued to break its global obligations by test-firing ballistic missiles despite being hit with two rounds of United Nations sanctions after a pair of nuclear tests in 2016 alone.

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