China seeks Russia's help to 'cool' North Korea situation


North Korea yesterday displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th birth anniversary of its founding father, Kim Il-sung, as a nuclear-powered U.S. aircraft carrier group steamed toward the region.

Several KN-08 missiles were rolled out on trucks at the parade.

U.S. Pacific Command said it detected a missile at about 6:20 a.m.

Participants carry a giant North Korean flag as they pass through Kim Il Sung Square.

Seoul, April15:Lt. Gen. Jun Jin-goo of the South Korean army called on his unit to be ready at all times for an offensive from Kim Jong-un's forces - and to be prepared to lay down their lives securing the border.

Choe, who is believed to be the second-most powerful official in North Korea, further stated that the new United States government under Donald Trump was "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.

Earlier on Friday, North Korea's Vice Minister Han Song Ryol told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview that his country will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in "quality and quantity" and said Pyongyang is ready to go to war if that's what President Donald Trump wants.

The 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty and Pyongyang says it needs nuclear weapons to defend itself against a possible United States invasion.

The move, coupled with the U.S. retaliatory strikes against Syria over a chemical weapons attack on civilians, has sparked fear in South Korea that the United States was preparing for military action on the North.

The parade, the annual highlight of North Korea's most important holiday, came amid growing global worries that North Korea may be preparing for its sixth nuclear test or a major missile launch, such as its first flight test of an ICBM capable of reaching USA shores.

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There can be no winners in a war between the U.S. and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons and missile programmes, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, while pledging support for dialogue between the sides. In recent years, it has marked the date with rocket and missile tests.

It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them previous year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets land in waters close to Japan last month.

China is North Korea's lone major ally, but has spoken out against missile and nuclear tests by Pyongyang and has supported United Nations sanctions. Also on display was a powerful mid-range missile that outside analysts call a "Musudan", and which can potentially reach USA air bases in Guam, as well as a new solid-fuel mid-range missile that can be fired from land mobile launchers, making them harder to detect before launch.

North Korea attempted to launch a missile from its east coast, but it failed, according to the South Korean and USA militaries.

This year's joint war games between the US and South Korean militaries are the biggest so far.

It wanted to send "a tough message to the United States in response to the Trump administration's recent rhetoric and the military steps the United States has taken", said Evans Revere of the Brookings Institution in Washington.

The report caused consternation among defense officials that it would cause a misunderstanding with North Korea.

Director of Jilin University's Institute of Northeast Asian Studies Guo Rui said that Trump's domestic troubles should prevent him taking such action, while North Korea doesn't appear to be on a war footing.

"Our toughest counteraction against the U.S. and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive".

Meanwhile, state-owned China International Travel Services, International - China's leading online travel website - and many other Chinese tour operators have halted travel to North Korea.