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Ng Han Guan / AP

North Korea held a military parade earlier today, debuting what appeared to be the country's new submarine-based and long-range missiles. The parade also celebrated the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, North Korea's founding president.

Why it matters: The military parade, particularly the presentation of the nation's new ballistic missiles, is the latest display of military force as tensions continue to grow between North Korea and the US.

The U.S. deployed a Navy strike group to the waters off the Korean Peninsula on April 9. The group included two guided-missile destroyers, one guided-missile cruiser, and an aircraft carrier. The strike group can intercept ballistic missiles sent from North Korea, as well as launch its own missiles.

Why? The strike group was in response to North Korea's continued missile tests, despite UN resolutions banning the nation from carrying out any such tests. They have also pursued nuclear weapons capability.

April 11, tweets and threats:

  • President Trump tweeted, "North Korea is looking for trouble," adding that the US would solve "the North Korean problem" with or without China's help.
  • North Korean state media said the country has its "nuclear sight focused" on the US and warned of a nuclear attack if there were any signs of a pre-emptive strike from the Navy carrier group heading toward the Korean peninsula.

April 12: Satellite images suggested North Korea was going to conduct its sixth nuclear test, per NYT. The test, an underground detonation through which the nation could figure out how to craft nuclear weapons, would have been the latest in a decade. It also could have been its most powerful test yet, clearly in response to the US' show of force near the peninsula.

April 13: The US placed two Tomahawk cruise missiles carriers in the area — one of them was 300 miles from the North Korean nuclear site — after learning of North Korea's potential nuclear test and recognizing that they often celebrate major holidays and significant dates with military force.

North Korea's military parade is the latest show of force amid this growing tension. "We are ready to hit back with nuclear attacks of our own style against any nuclear attacks," said Choe Ryong-hae, who is believed to be the country's second-most powerful official. "We're prepared to respond to an all-out war with an all-out war," he said.

Go deeper

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."