N. Korean leader appears at military parade while official accuses US of ‘creating war situation’

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — A senior North Korean government official says the country is ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he spoke at an immense parade celebrating the birthday of the country’s founder Kim Il Sung, the grandfather of current ruler Kim Jong Un.

Choe Ryong Hae, who some presume as the second-most powerful official in North Korea, said Saturday that the new U.S. government under Donald Trump was “creating a war situation” in the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.

The United States a few days ago dispatched what Trump called an “armada” of ships in a show of force, including an aircraft carrier, into waters off the peninsula amid fears that North Korea was preparing another round of nuclear or missile tests.

“We will respond to an all-out war with an all-out war and a nuclear war with our style of a nuclear attack,” Choe said during the parade in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made an appearance at an immense military parade celebrating the birthday of his late grandfather and North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.

North Korean state television showed Kim, wearing a black suit and white shirt, stepped out of a black limousine and saluted his honor guard before walking down a red carpet.

He then walked up to a podium and clapped with senior government officials to address the thousands of soldiers and a massive crowd taking part in the parade in capital Pyongyang.

South Korean analysts have said that the North might use the parade to showcase its strategic weapons, such as prototype intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In his annual New Year's address, Kim said that the country's preparations for an ICBM launch have "reached the final stage." Analysts say commercial satellite images from recent weeks indicate increased activity around North Korea's nuclear test site.