Korea installs parts of contentious USA missile defense

Pic Reuters

Pic Reuters

North Korea often marks significant dates with show of military capability, and South Korean officials have said the North could be preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests around the anniversary.

As a traditional ally and North Korea's chief source of trade, food and fuel aid, China has come under intense pressure to use its influence to dissuade Pyongyang from additional nuclear tests and missile launches.

According to a report from South Korea's Yonhap news agency, the drill involved up to 400 artillery pieces and may have been supervised by the country's leader, Kim Jong-un.

North Korea's media warned that its military is ready to "sink" the carrier "with a single strike" if needed.

Envoys from Japan, the US and South Korea have gathered in Tokyo to discuss North Korea amid concern it may carry out another nuclear or missile test.

Lawmakers organized the meeting as South Korea announced it is on high alert ahead of a Tuesday holiday in North Korea, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its Korean People's Army.

The U.S. and South Korean militaries have been reluctant to publicly discuss the progress of the deployment as candidates in a May 9 presidential election debated whether the move should go ahead or be delayed until after the vote.

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Officials also recently told the press that the Pentagon is looking into other options that don't necessarily include the use of military force in an attempt to get North Korea to cooperate. About 200 residents and protesters rallied in front of a local community centre, some hurling plastic water bottles. The North Koreans have staged demonstrations, including nuclear tests, on these special days. On the same day, a US guided-missile submarine docked in South Korea, and the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier is headed toward the peninsula for a joint exercise with South Korea.

"The courageous artillerymen mercilessly and satisfactorily hit the targets and the gunshots were very correct, he said, adding that they showed well the volley of gunfire of our a-match-for-a-hundred artillery force giving merciless punishment to the hostile forces", KCNA said. But he said the Trump administration's tough talk of defusing North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs is justified.

The senator said he prefers to solve the problem through diplomacy and sees military force as a "last resort".

In addition to Tuesday's military exercises in North Korea, navies from both South Korea and the U.S.

Recent US commercial satellite images indicate increased activity around North Korea's nuclear test site, and third-generation dictator Kim Jong Un has said the country's preparation for an ICBM launch is in its "final stage".

Maeil Business wrote: "When a military clash happens in the Korean Peninsula, South Korea will be the first target of North Korea and its military will hold joint operations with US troops to fight back". The work to set up the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense system, or THAAD, within this year has angered North Korea, China and Russian Federation, which see the system's powerful radars as a security threat.