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

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a military show of strength in Pyongyang on Saturday, as tensions with the USA reached boiling point.

North Korea has celebrated the 105th anniversary of the birthday of Kim Il-sung, its founding president, with an huge military parade - and an escalation of rhetoric.

"We've got a powerful nuclear deterrent already in our hands, and we certainly will not keep our arms crossed in the face of a USA pre-emptive strike".

North Korea has warned the U.S. not to take provocative action in the region, saying it is "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks".

China -the North's sole major ally - has urged the U.S. president to take a peaceful approach to resolving the North Korean tensions.

Also on Friday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said all sides must stop provoking and threatening and start taking a flexible approach to resuming dialogue. North Korea had previously launched the ballistic missile into the Sea of Japan during the summit between President Donald Trump and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in February.

The US navy nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson strike group is heading into the area, and North Korea has slammed the US for bringing nuclear capabilities into the region.

Speaking to the Associated Press in an interview Friday, North Korea's vice foreign minister said that any sign of "reckless" military aggression on the part of the US could lead Pyongyang to launch a preemptive strike of its own.

North Korea also warned it is "ready to hit back with nuclear attacks" should the USA make any provocative action, according to the BBC.




The parade is inspected by the leader of the North Korea Kim Jong-un who is also the supreme commander in chief.

"As for the nuclear test, that is something that our headquarters decides".

None of the North's five previous nuclear tests have taken place in the month of April.

The response came with the grand bluster normally included in statements by North Korea, bluster like "nuclear justice". "We will go to war if they choose." he said.

The test was not publicized inside North Korea. South Korean acting president Hwang Kyo-ahn said of North Korea, Reuters reported.

North Korea on Saturday unveiled what appears to be its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), staging a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang amid increased military tensions on the peninsula.

However, the display did show that North Korea is still going right ahead with their missile development program.

He passed the leadership over to his son, Kim Jong Il, who in turn passed it to his son, current North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "China is willing to give support to all of them", he said.

Mr Wang's comments come as the United States voices increasing concern at North Korea's development of nuclear weapons. The country has previously used holidays and anniversaries as a showcase for its arsenal of weapons.

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