North Korea has displayed what appears to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles on the 105th anniversary of the birth of its founding father, Kim Il Sung, as a nuclear-powered USA aircraft carrier group steamed towards the region.
Melissa Hanham, a senior research associate at the US -based Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, said the appearance of ICBMs enclosed in canister launchers suggested Pyongyang was working towards a "new concept" of ICBM.
North Korea launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests past year, including its most powerful to date, and there have been a slew of shorter range missile firings.
State television showed what appeared to be several KN-08 missiles rolled out on trucks at the parade.
Choe Ryong Hae said to those celebrating "Day of the Sun" - the North state is ready per battle.
He criticized the new US administration under President Donald Trump for "creating a war situation" on the Korean Peninsula by dispatching strategic military assets to the region.
But a US military official, who requested anonymity to discuss planning, said the USA doesn't intend to use military force against North Korea in response to either a nuclear test or a missile launch.
Pence arrived in the region a day after North Korea celebrated the birth anniversary of the country's late founder with a military parade showing off missiles and military hardware.
While the two missile canisters appeared to accommodate missiles larger than any the country has publicly displayed, they were empty but insinuated North Korea's intentions to build larger ICBMs.
China is seeking Russia's help to cool tensions.
On April 9, it became known that the Pacific Command of the US Armed Forces sent an attack group of the Navy led by the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier to the Korean Peninsula.
"What analysts believe is that this is sending a message that Kim Jong-un maintains his dual track policy", Leeson said.
After a 21-gun salute, tens of thousands of soldiers, sailors and airmen goose-stepped through Kim Il-Sung Square turning their eyes towards the high balcony from where Kim watched, flanked by officers and officials.
"The president and his military team are aware of North Korea's most recent unsuccessful missile launch, a statement from US Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis read".
North Korean soldiers are facing the death penalty after spreading a joke comparing Kim Jong-un to a kindergartner.
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.
However, a miffed North Korea's response was a warning of a "merciless" response to any move by the "reckless" Trump government, according to a North Korean Army spokesperson's statement to state-run news agency KCNA. That decision of the U.S. administration caused serious concerns of the North Korean leadership, which does not exclude the possibility of a missile strike by the US.
It has carried out five nuclear tests - two of them previous year - and multiple missile launches, one of which saw several rockets come down in waters provocatively close to Japan last month.
The parade also featured the North's submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) for the first time.
Kim emphasizes nuclear weapons as the foundation of his national defense strategy.