NUCLEAR warlord wannabe Kim Jong-un showed he was a force to be reckoned with when he unleashed the biggest military drill in North Korean history, The Sun reports.
Hundreds of rockets and field artillery fired a simultaneous barrage of fire to mark the military’s 85th anniversary and send a clear message to the world. But the real reason for such an awesome display of firepower can only be to send a message to the South and US to back off or else.
Meanwhile the US and South Korean troops have staged their own massive war game on the border with North Korea as a show of strength should the despot decide to test anymore nuclear bombs or missiles.
The massive show of forces comes amid reports the US has been deploying its controversial Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system aimed at downing enemy rockets – a move that is sure to anger China as much as the North.
North Korea has ambitions to build a missile capable of reaching the US mainland and tensions have soared in recent months as it carried out a spate of missile tests that sparked tit-for-tat sabre-rattling between it and Washington.
The North’s Rodong Sinmun – the official mouthpiece of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea – warned Tuesday of dire consequences in the event of a US-led pre-emptive strike.
It promised “the most brutal punishment… in the sky and land as well as at sea and from underwater without any warning or prior notice”.
Meanwhile South Korea and the US held their own joint live firing drill at the Seungjin Fire Training Field in Pocheon, 50 miles northeast of the capital city of Seoul.
Helicopter gunships, troops, tanks and an array of firepower unleashed its devastating power in what could end up being a dress rehearsal for a showdown with Kim Jong-un’s forces in a highly destructive Korean War 2.
The USS Michigan is cable of firing more than 150 Tomahawk missiles at targets deep in the North. Meanwhile US troops began delivering a missile defence system that has infuriated China to a deployment site in South Korea this morning amid heightened tensions over the North’s nuclear ambitions.
Washington is urging Beijing – Pyongyang’s sole major ally – to do more to rein it in, but the Asian giant has reacted with fury to the planned installation of the THAAD system.
The US and ally South Korea say its deployment, agreed last year, is intended to guard against missile threats from the nuclear-armed North. But China fears it will weaken its own ballistic capabilities and says it upsets the regional security balance.
It has imposed a host of measures seen as economic retaliation against the South, including a ban on tour groups. TV footage showed large trailers in camouflage paint carrying what appeared to be missile-related equipment entering a former golf course in the southern county of Seongju this morning.