NKorea marks military anniversary with firing drill

North Korea warns Australia of 'blindly toeing US line', warns of nuclear strike

North Korea warns Australia of 'blindly toeing US line', warns of nuclear strike

Speculation had mounted that Pyongyang could carry out a sixth nuclear test or another missile launch to mark 85 years since the founding of its army.

A nuclear-powered U.S. submarine arrived in a South Korean port on Tuesday in a show of force amid concerns that North Korea may attempt another missile launch or nuclear test on Tuesday.

North Korea defiantly said in a state media commentary marking the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army that its military was prepared "to bring to closure the history of USA scheming and nuclear blackmail".

"We agreed that we will strongly warn that North Korea should stop further strategic provocations", said Kim Hong-kyun, South Korea's representative.

Although such an explosion hasn't yet occurred, Trump has sent high-powered US military vessels and an aircraft carrier to the region in a show of force, while the North conducted large-scale, live-fire artillery drills, witnessed by national leader Kim Jong Un, earlier this week.

On Wednesday, Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Joint Chiefs chairman General Joseph Dunford, are to hold a rare briefing on North Korea at the White House for the entire U.S. Senate.

Senior Trump administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, will brief all 100 USA senators on the tense stand-off with North Korea at an extraordinary meeting at the White House tomorrow.

The Guardian are reporting that the unusual briefing indicates the urgency with which the Trump administration is treating Pyongyang's continued development of nuclear weapons.

"This is a real threat to the world, whether we want to talk about it or not", Trump said at a lunch for ambassadors of countries who sit on the Security Council.

North Korea defiantly said in a state media commentary marking the 85th anniversary of the foundation of the Korean People's Army's that its military was prepared "to bring to closure the history of USA scheming and nuclear blackmail".

While demanding that North Korea halt its nuclear and missile tests-and threatening military attack if it does not-the Trump administration will today test launch a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) from California across the Pacific, in a menacing show of force.

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North Korea held an enormous military parade held to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of the country's founder, Kim Il Sung on April 15.

"If the USA and warmongers run amok with a reckless pre-emptive strike, we will stage the most brutal punishment of a pre-emptive attack in the sky and land as well as at sea and from underwater without any warning or prior notice", warned the North's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper.

South Korea, the USA and Japan's special envoys to six-party talks met in Tokyo on Tuesday to discuss measures to address North Korea's nuclear program.

A United States assault on the Korean Peninsula could not only lead to the destabilising collapse of North Korea, near one of China's major industrial regions, but install a US-backed regime on China's border, as the USA sought to during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Despite the buildup, Mr. Trump has reportedly settled on a strategy that emphasizes increased pressure on North Korea with the help of China, the North's only major ally, instead of military options or trying to overthrow North Korea's government.

The report, citing an unidentified government source, said the live-fire exercise was possibly supervised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is expected to join the submarine in waters off the Korean Peninsula later this week. One aspect of China's hardline stance is illustrated by the fact that China's state-run newspaper, The Global Times, declared on April. 22 that Beijing would engage in deterrence through diplomatic means if the U.S. launched a surgical strike on North Korea's nuclear facilities, but that a Chinese military intervention would be unnecessary. Trump spoke by phone with both the Japanese and Chinese leaders Monday, April 24.

The move came amid increasing pressure from the United States and its allies on North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called Monday for "restraint" regarding North Korea in a telephone conversation with Trump.

North Korea often marks significant dates by displaying its military capability and has conducted five nuclear tests.

Adding to the tensions, North Korea detained a U.S. citizen on Saturday, bringing the number of Americans being held there to three.

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