North Korea leader Kim Jong-un gleefully applauded as he watched a display of the country’s military might during the secretive state’s Day of the Sun – and his regime warned of an ‘annihilating strike’ if the US attacks.
Kim, wearing a Western-style suit at Kim Il-sung Square, saluted formations of soldiers who yelled out ‘long live’ to celebrate the 105th anniversary of his grandfather’s birth.
The dictator has accused President Donald Trump of provoking his nation towards armed conflict with a series of increasingly aggressive moves, including sending the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula.
US officials feared Kim Jong-un would mark the national holiday by launching North Korea’s sixth nuclear weapons test, since the country has used previous holidays to showcase its military prowess.
The despot, who did not speak during the annual parade, flaunted prototypes of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which experts fear could one day be capable of striking mainland America.
One of Kim’s top officials, Choe Ryong Hae, today vowed North Korea would ‘beat down enemies with the power of nuclear justice’.
He told the packed-out square: ‘If the United States wages reckless provocation against us, our revolutionary power will instantly counter with annihilating strike, and we will respond to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike warfare.’
Submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also among the sophisticated military hardware on show for the first time, indicating an improving technological capability that could help it evade anti-missile systems.
Smiling dictator: Kim Jung-un was noticeably relaxed and appeared happy as he attended the ‘Day of the Sun’ military parade in Kim Il Sung square – which celebrates his grandfather – the founder of North Korea
Thousands of North Korean troops armed with rifles took part in the show of force, which saw North Korea flaunt sophisticated new military hardware
North Koreans carry flags in front of statues of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung (left) and late leader Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang today
Men beat drums as they parade through Kim Il Sung Square during military drills to mark the landmark date
North Korean soldiers march and shout slogans during a military parade at the ‘Day of the Sun’ to mark the country’s founder’s birth anniversary
Tanks rolled through the capital city of the secretive state, which was marking the 105th birthday of Kim Jong-un’s late grandfather