North Korea Rolls Out Missiles at Annual Parade

Engagement remains an option even though the current focus is on pressure, officials were quoted as saying.

US officials said Friday the president's advisers weighed a range of ideas for how to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program, including military options and trying to overthrow the isolated communist dictatorship's leadership.

President Trump had warned the isolated regime to avoid nuclear or missile tests or face unspecified consequences.

In the end, however, they settled on a policy that appears to represent continuity.

The officials who asked for anonymity said the administration's emphasis for now will be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of China.

Trump's tweets this week, and leaks suggesting that a preemptive strike is under consideration, create the expectation that the US must respond immediately and dramatically to the next North Korean nuclear test or missile launch or else lose credibility. Despite reports that Washington is considering military action if the North goes ahead with another nuclear test, Han did not rule out the possibility of a test in the near future.

(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E). North Korean schoolgirls perform at the Mangyongdae Children's Palace on Friday, April 14, 2017, in Pyongyang, North Korea. "We're prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and we are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks", Choe Ryong Hae, a senior member of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) said in a speech during the large military parade.

The North has owned up to one such facility, at its Nyongbyon nuclear complex, but the USA government assumes it has more.

"Every time Pyongyang tests, they get closer to developing the technology they would need to put a nuclear weapon on a course to strike the US".

"Our toughest counteraction against the US and its vassal forces will be taken in such a merciless manner as not to allow the aggressors to survive", a spokesperson for North Korea's military said ahead of the parade, according to the state-run KCNA news agency.

The Pentagon and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said it wasn't immediately clear what type of missile was involved.

The minister's comments mark the latest attempt by China to cool tensions between the United States and North Korea, for whom they are a crucial ally and a key supplier of food and fuel aid. It can not lead to an arms control agreement or reduction of the North's atomic arsenal that would imply American acceptance of North Korea as a nuclear power.

Beijing's decision earlier this year to cut off coal imports from North Korea also are being seen as a hopeful sign.

Monday, hundreds of members of the Korean People's Army (KPA) crowded the plaza of the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang to pay tribute to past leaders and vow loyalty to Kim Jong Un, according to state media Rodong Sinmun.

The annual U.S. -South Korea military exercises have consistently infuriated the North, which views them as rehearsals for an invasion.

China, whose foreign minister met his French counterpart in Beijing on Friday, has said it wants to cooperate with Russian Federation to calm tension over North Korea as quickly as possible and bring all parties to the negotiating table. He said that military action was an option not only if North Korea threatened South Korea or USA forces but also if "they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action".

Trump, who last week acted unilaterally in ordering a cruise missile strike on Syria, has been using America's military might to send a message to Kim. Last weekend, the USA sent aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to nearby waters as heated words ratcheted up.

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