North Korean leader Kim Jong Un didn't speak to the thousands of soldiers and civilians gathered at a massive parade honoring his late grandfather on Saturday, but his expanding array of ballistic missiles made an emphatic statement.
Kim Dong-Yub, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Institute for Far Eastern Studies, said the canisters and trucks suggested that the country was developing technology to "cold launch" ICBMs.
However, the only reason the USA would strike is if North Korea does decide to move forward with its testing or plans to aim at the US or one of its allies.
The US today said it is working with China and other allies to develop a "range of options" against North Korea's "provocative and destabilising" behaviour, asserting that President Donald Trump will not allow Kim Jong-Un's regime to have the capacity to threaten America.
"It's in their interest to see North and South Korea reunited in a sensible way, that would end the North Korean nuclear weapons program and in my view that's the only way it's going to happen", he said.
The United States has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Korean Peninsula region, and Trump has repeatedly tweeted that if China will not use its leverage to rein in North Korea, the United States will act. Thousands of USA and South Korean troops, tanks and other weaponry were also deployed last month in their biggest-ever joint military exercises, which prompted North Korea to issue routine threats of attacks on its rival if they show signs of aggression.
US officials said on Friday that Trump's advisers weighed a range of ideas for how to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.
"The military hysterics of the administration of the US President (Donald) Trump has reached a risky point, and the DPRK can not but react to this circumstance", the North Korean military leaders said in a statement issued on Friday.
U.S. Pacific Command said the ballistic missile, of a kind not yet determined, was launched from near a submarine base at Sinpo, a port city on North Korea's east coast.
North Korea flaunts long-range missiles in birthday parade
The timing of the test, coinciding with Pence's trip and a day after the military parade, would suggest deliberate defiance. In his annual New Year's address, Kim said North Korea's preparations for an ICBM launch had "reached the final stage".
A series of what appeared to be KN-08 missiles were among the weapons rolled out on trucks.
North Korea has begun a vast military parade to celebrate the birth of its founding father, Kim Il-sung, and warned that it was prepared to take the "toughest" action unless the United States ended its "military hysteria", The Guardian reports.
North Korean soldiers also rolled out what appeared to be another large rocket covered by a canister.
Since taking power in late 2011, Kim Jong Un has executed or purged a slew of high-level government officials in what the South Korean government has described as a "reign of terror".
In his annual New Year's address, Kim said that the country's preparations for an ICBM launch have "reached the final stage".
Despite speculation that the country would launch a nuclear test in celebration of its founder's birth on Saturday, North Korea declined to do so.
This year, however, the holiday also showcased what appeared to be long-range and submarine-based missiles: weapons the country has always been warned against possessing.
North Korea was widely expected to conduct its sixth nuclear test, which did not occur.