North Korea marks founder's 105th birth anniversary

Missiles appeared to be the main theme of a giant military parade, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un taking time to greet the commander of the Strategic Forces, the branch that oversees the missile arsenal.

"North Korea showing a variety of offensive missiles at yesterday's military parade and daring to fire a ballistic missile today is a show of force that threatens the whole world", South Korea's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

But Choe Ryong Hae, reportedly the second-most powerful official in the country, said in a speech that Pyongyang is prepared for any threat posed by the United States.

The US nuclear-powered Carl Vinson aircraft carrier strike group is heading to the region.

China's state-run media warned that the US President was mistaken if he believed that piling military pressure on North Korea would resolve the regime's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

Analysts say recent satellite images from North Korea suggest that it might soon carry out another underground detonation, despite pointed warnings by the United States not to do so.

He said the president had asked the national security council to integrate the efforts of the Defence and State departments and U.S. intelligence agencies to develop options if "this pattern of behaviour continues and if the North Korean regime refuses to denuclearise".

As leader Kim Jong Un presided over events celebrating the so-called "Day of the Sun" honouring his grandfather's birth, a close aide addressed the packed square. "So that's why. It's not the DPRK but the US and Trump that makes trouble".

DPRK stands for the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Meanwhile, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Han Song Ryol accused Trump of fanning tensions between the two countries with his "aggressive" tweets, and he said Trump was "becoming more vicious and more aggressive" than previous presidents.

Photos of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump.

Any preemptive strike on the United States' part would use conventional weapons, rather than nuclear, the officials said.

State news agency KCNA said the Trump administration's "serious military hysteria" had reached a "dangerous phase which can no longer be overlooked".

Following the huge bomb dropped by the USA in Afghanistan, China's Global Times - the Communist Party's official newspaper - said North Korea must have felt the shockwaves.

Both China, the North's sole major ally, and Russian Federation have urged restraint, with Beijing's foreign minister, Wang Yi, warning on Friday that "conflict could break out at any moment".

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