Trump strategy on N. Korea: 'Maximum pressure, engagement'

Rows of military bands, goose-stepping and sword-wielding soldiers marched through Pyongyang's main Kim Il-sung square for the "Day of the Sun" celebrations.

State television showed what appeared to be several KN-08 intercontinental missiles rolled out on trucks at the parade. An official from South Korea's Defense Ministry couldn't immediately confirm whether the rocket was a new ICBM.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending the military parade on Saturday.

But as speculation mounts that Pyongyang is poised for a "big event", a United States aircraft carrier group is steaming towards the region.

"If they attempt a full-scale war, we will respond with a full-scale war", Choe Ryong Hae, a senior official in the ruling Workers' Party and a key aide to Kim, said in a speech before the parade, the Times reported. The country under his watch has been aggressively pursuing a goal of putting a nuclear warhead on an ICBM capable of reaching the continental United States. The North views the strike as telegraphing what the Trump administration's plans are for its regime.

"North Korea made sure that the world saw that they are working on ICBMs and what we saw at the military parade was a prototype ICBM that will become the real deal after the necessary tests in the future", Cheong Seong-Chang, a senior fellow at The Sejong Institute in South Korea, told NBC News.

Experts said the parade included prototype missiles that were longer than previous versions and appeared to have improved launch capabilities.

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The Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also on parade.

"All the brigandish provocative moves of the U.S.in the political, economic and military fields pursuant to its hostile policy toward the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] will thoroughly be foiled through the toughest counteraction of the army and people of the DPRK", KCNA said, citing a spokesperson for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army.

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", reports BBC. He has repeatedly said if China, North Korea's dominant trading partner, is unwilling to do more to pressure the North, the USA might take the matter into its own hands.

North Korea also showcased short-range missiles Saturday that could threaten its neighbors in Asia.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said: "The time for action is now and by that we need to look at ways to put increased pressure on North Korea in order for it to recognise the reality that it needs to pursue denuclearisation". China on Friday again called for talks to defuse the crisis. Trump after all just found out - after months and months of claiming that North Korea would do whatever China said - that North Korean - Chinese relations are "not so easy".

The isolated country is now preparing a military parade in honor of 105th birthday of the country's founder Kim Il-Sung on Saturday.

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