Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Global | By Doris Richards

N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country's founder

N. Korea gears up to celebrate birthday of country's founder

A North Korean foreign minister vowed the isolationist country "will go to war" if the US provokes it, as the world watched to see if dictator Kim Jong Un will launch another provocative nuclear test today to commemorate his grandfather's birthday.

For North Koreans, April 15 is an auspicious date that sees millions celebrate the birth of the nation's founder.

North Koreans offer flowers in front of a mural of late leaders Kim Il Sung, left, and Kim Jong Il on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. Amid rising regional tensions, Pyongyang residents have been preparing for.

In this combination of images made from video, from left to right:.

North Korea's state television showed thousands of soldiers marching at Kim Il Sung Square on Saturday to kick off the event that is expected to be attended by leader Kim Jong Un.

A North Korean missile exploded on launch a day after a massive military parade.

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.

A Seoul-based civic group composed of North Korean defectors flew anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the inter-Korean border toward the North Saturday morning.

North Korea launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests past year, including its most powerful to date, and there have been a slew of shorter range missile firings.

Choe vowed that North Korea will "beat down enemies with the power of nuclear justice". The General Staff of the Korean People's Army promised to take the most decisive measures in response to provocative actions by the United States and its allies.

North Korea is known to have invited about 200 foreign journalists to let them cover the country's celebrations of the key national holiday.

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Vice Foreign Minister Ryol added that the Trump administration is "more vicious and more aggressive" than President Obama's.

North Korea's goal is to build a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile capable of striking the United States.

U.S. Pacific Command said the ballistic missile, of a kind not yet determined, was launched from near a submarine base at Sinpo, a port city on North Korea's east coast. The deployment is created to show that the USA could shoot down any missiles that North Korea may fire. Analysts say the missiles could one day be capable of hitting targets as far as the United States, although North Korea has yet to flight-test them.

The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.

The parade also included large rockets covered by canisters in two different types of transporter erector launcher trucks, or TELs.

"Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was so fascinated by his personality as to say that Kim Il Sung is greater than that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln put together, eulogizing him as the great sun god of human destiny." it said. The official said it wasn't immediately clear what Kim Won Hong's current role was with North Korea's government.

North Korea is ratcheting up already high tensions with a new display of military firepower, CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reports.

The Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also on parade. With North Korea making preparations for a military demonstration on the anniversary of the country's founder, unilateral action may come sooner rather than later.

It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them past year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw three rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month. The North also past year launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology.

Other senior officials joining Kim on the parade podium included Kim Won-hong, who the South Korean government had said earlier this year was sacked from his job as state security minister, presumably over corruption.

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