All hail the great god of the sun

CityPress - - News -

North Korea dis­played what ap­peared to be new long-range and sub­ma­rine-based mis­siles on the 105th birth an­niver­sary of its found­ing fa­ther, Kim Il-Sung, on Satur­day, as a nu­clear-pow­ered US air­craft car­rier group steamed to­wards the re­gion. Mis­siles ap­peared to be the main theme of a gi­ant mil­i­tary parade, with Kim Il-Sung’s grand­son, leader Kim JongUn, tak­ing time to greet the com­man­der of the Strate­gic Forces, the branch that over­sees the mis­sile ar­se­nal.

A US navy at­tack on a Syr­ian air­field this month with Tom­a­hawk mis­siles raised ques­tions about US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s plans for reclu­sive North Korea, which has con­ducted sev­eral mis­sile and nu­clear tests in de­fi­ance of UN sanc­tions, reg­u­larly threat­en­ing to de­stroy the US.

Kim Jong-Un, look­ing re­laxed in a dark suit and laugh­ing with aides, over­saw the fes­tiv­i­ties on the Day of the Sun at Pyongyang’s main Kim Il-Sung Square.

Goose-step­ping sol­diers and march­ing bands filled the square, fol­lowed by tanks, mul­ti­ple-launch rocket sys­tems and other weapons. Sin­gle-en­gine pro­pel­ler-pow­ered planes flew in a 105 for­ma­tion over­head.

There did not ap­pear to be a se­nior Chi­nese of­fi­cial in at­ten­dance. China is North Korea’s lone ma­jor ally, but has spo­ken out against its mis­sile and nu­clear tests and has sup­ported UN sanc­tions. China on Fri­day again called for talks to defuse the cri­sis.

Weapons an­a­lysts said they be­lieved some of the mis­siles on dis­play were new types of in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal bal­lis­tic mis­siles. North Korea has said it had de­vel­oped and would launch a mis­sile that could strike main­land US, but ex­perts doubt this.

Dis­play­ing more than one of the mis­siles in­di­cates North Korea is pro­gress­ing with its plan to base a mis­sile on a sub­ma­rine, which are hard to de­tect, said Joshua Pol­lack, ed­i­tor of the Washington-based Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Re­view.

“It sug­gests a com­mit­ment to this pro­gramme,” said Pol­lack. North Korea, still tech­ni­cally at war with South Korea af­ter their 1950-53 con­flict ended in a truce, but not a treaty, has on oc­ca­sion con­ducted mis­sile or nu­clear tests to co­in­cide with big po­lit­i­cal events. Kim Jong-Un of­ten threat­ens the US, South Korea and Ja­pan.

Choe Ry­ong Hae, a close aide to Kim Jong-Un, sent a bel­li­cose warn­ing to the US.

“If the US wages reck­less provo­ca­tion against us, our rev­o­lu­tion­ary power will in­stantly counter with an­ni­hi­lat­ing strike, and we will re­spond to full-out war with full-out war and to nu­clear war with our style of nu­clear strike war­fare,” he said.

State news agency KCNA said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s “se­ri­ous mil­i­tary hys­te­ria” had reached a “dan­ger­ous phase that can no longer be over­looked”.

The US has warned that a pol­icy of “strate­gic pa­tience” with North Korea is over.

US vice-pres­i­dent Mike Pence trav­els to South Korea to­day on a long-planned 10-day trip to Asia.

China has also stepped up eco­nomic pres­sure on North Korea. It banned all im­ports of North Korean coal on Fe­bru­ary 26 un­der UN sanc­tions, cut­ting off the North’s most im­por­tant ex­port prod­uct.

China’s na­tional air­line, Air China, weeks ago can­celled some flights to Pyongyang, but said this was ow­ing to poor de­mand.

KCNA was gush­ing in its praise of Kim Il-Sung, re­call­ing the time he met for­mer US pres­i­dent Jimmy Carter in 1994.

“Carter was so fas­ci­nated by his per­son­al­ity as to say that Kim Il-Sung was greater than [for­mer US pres­i­dents] Ge­orge Washington, Thomas Jef­fer­son and Abra­ham Lin­coln put to­gether, eu­lo­gis­ing him as the great sun god of hu­man des­tiny,” it said.

… the great sun god of hu­man des­tiny … is greater than that Ge­orge Washington, Thomas Jef­fer­son and Abra­ham Lin­coln put to­gether

PHOTO: REUTERS

LINE OF DUTY North Korean sol­diers march and shout slo­gans dur­ing a mil­i­tary parade mark­ing the 105th birth an­niver­sary of the coun­try’s found­ing fa­ther, Kim Il-Sung, in Pyongyang, North Korea

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