On April 15 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea commemorates the birthday of its founder, Kim Il Sung with a holiday called Day of the Sun.
This year would be Kim’s 105th birthday, and the USS Carl Vinson strike group has been joined by Japanese naval ships in the Korean Peninsula waters amid fears Pyongyang will mark the occasion with another nuclear test.
Satellite photos of North Korea’s Mount Mantap site have indicated leader Kim Jong-un could be preparing for a sixth nuclear test to coincide with the holiday.
US President Donald Trump said Thursday that he was confident China would prevent its ally North Korea from launching any tests. But, he said, “if they are unable to do so, the US, with its allies, will!”
North Korea’s deputy foreign minister Han Song-ryol said the country would conduct nuclear tests when it saw fit and respond to any pre-emptive US strikes.
The remarks came after NBC News, citing unnamed intelligence sources, said on Thursday that the United States could launch a pre-emptive strike on North Korea. The Department of Defense officials have dismissed the reports.
China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, urged both countries to avoid provocations and threats.
UPDATE Ankit Panda summarised the military hardware seen in the parade.