North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to people attending a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father, Kim Il Sung in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.
North Korea has called the United Nations resolutions on its nuclear and missile program an infringement of its sovereign rights to self defense and pursuit of space exploration.
However, when foreign journalists visit North Korea, their movements are closely managed and they are usually restricted to Pyongyang.
The festivities take place amid concerns that North Korea is possibly preparing its sixth nuclear test in a decade or a rocket launch of significance, such as its first flight test of an ICBM.
It wasn't immediately clear what kind of missile was sacked from the city of Sinpo, but the failure will sting in Pyongyang because it comes a day after one of the biggest North Korean propaganda events of the year- celebrations of the 105th birthday of late North Korea founder Kim Il Sung, the current leader's grandfather.
After inspecting an honour guard, Kim, in a black suit, watched the parade pour into Kim Il-sung Square, accompanied by top military and party leaders, state television showed in a live broadcast.
Still, the military hardware that was paraded through Pyongyang on Saturday shows that Kim Jong Un is unrelenting in his quest to develop a missile capable of reaching the United States.
North Korea, still technically at war with the South 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 and often threatens the United States, South Korea and Japan.
In his annual New Year's address, Kim said that the country's preparations for an ICBM launch have "reached the final stage".
Goose-stepping soldiers and marching bands filled the square, next to the Taedonggang River that flows through Pyongyang, in the hazy spring sunshine, followed by tanks, multiple launch rocket systems and other weapons. Also on display was a powerful midrange missile that outside analysts call a "Musudan", and which can potentially reach USA air bases in Guam, as well as a new solid-fuel midrange missile that can be fired from land mobile launchers, making them harder to detect before launch.
North Korea denounced the United States for bringing "huge nuclear strategic assets" to the region as the Carl Vinson strike group with a flag-ship nuclear-powered aircraft carrier steamed closer, and said it stood ready to strike back.
Meanwhile the United States has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula, leading Pyongyang to accuse Donald Trump of "creating a war situation".
As North Korea marks its founders day, it warned to face retaliation to any kind of U.S. military attack.
Other senior officials joining Kim at the parade podium included Kim Won Hong, who the South Korean government had said earlier this year was sacked from his job as state security minister, presumably over corruption.
South Korea and the United States say the sole goal of the THAAD is to guard against North Korean missiles, but China says that its powerful radar could penetrate its territory.
Kim, a 30-something leader who took power in late 2011, emphasizes nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defense strategy.
"It is likely that this launch is a test for a new type of missile or an upgrade so the possibility is high for further provocation in the near future", Kim Dong-Yub, a military expert at Kyungnam University's Institute of Far Eastern Studies in Seoul, said.
The status of the North Korean underground nuclear test program is unchanged, a senior U.S. defense official told CNN's Barbara Starr, and a test could come at any time.
North Korea conducted two such tests previous year alone, which analysts say would have taken the country a step forward in gaining the knowledge to make nuclear weapons small enough to fit on long-range missiles. The North also past year launched a long-range rocket that put a satellite into orbit, which Washington, Seoul and others saw as a banned test of missile technology. A carrier strike group led by USS Carl Vinson made its way toward North Korea, in addition to a WC-135 "nuke-sniffer" being deployed to neighboring Japan.
North Korea's military responded fiercely Friday to U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to "take care of" Pyongyang's aggressive policies.
It warned the United States that any provocation would be met with retaliation.