North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un unveiled his deadly Special Forces unit for the first time this weekend in an apparent show of force against US President Donald Trump.
The menacing and "highly trained" troops yelled patriotic slogans as they carried rifles fitted with grenade launchers through the streets of the Pyongyang during a military parade on Saturday, according to Daily Mail.
The crack team, said to be the best equipped in the Korean People's Army, had night vision goggles affixed to their helmets and handguns strapped to their chest.
"Once Supreme Commander Kim Jong-un issues an order they will charge with resolve to thrust a sword through the enemy's heart like lightning over Mount Paektu [the country's highest peak]," a broadcaster announced on North Korean state TV.
Its presence at this weekend's Day Of The Sun celebrations comes amid rising tensions with the United States and President Trump, who has refused to rule out a pre-emptive strike if Kim reaches for the nuclear button.
North Korea's Special Forces unit is on standby to defend the country from elite US soldiers who are practicing to "remove" Kim Jong-un from power should war arise, an analyst with South Korea's Yonhap news agency claims.
A Pentagon report singled out the soldiers as "among the most highly trained, well-equipped, best fed and highly motivated" forces in North Korea's army, CNN reported.
It said the highly secretive force, which is said to have carried out covert missions in South Korea, "appear designed for rapid offensive operations" and defence against foreign attacks.
The report went on to say the Special Forces "operate in specialized units, including reconnaissance, airborne and seaborne insertion, commandos and other specialties".
It also predicted that North Korea was "committed to developing a long-range, nuclear-armed missile that is capable of posing a direct threat to the United States".
In Saturday's parade celebrating the 105th birthday of North Korean founder Kim Jong-ul, his grandson also unveiled a "game-changing" ballistic missiles which Pyongyang claims can travel thousands of miles.
The intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) heightened fears the reclusive state is preparing for a possible attack on Washington.
They were revealed as Kim Jong-Un warned of deploying them for an an "annihilating strike" if the US attacks his country.
The two new kinds of ICBM were enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the backs of trucks as they were paraded in front of cheering crowds.
Pyongyang has yet to formally announce it has an operational ICBM but experts believe they the new rockets could be liquid-fuelled intercontinental ballistic missiles, or an early prototype.
Submarine-launched ballistic missiles were also on show for the first time, indicating an improving technological capability that could help it evade anti-missile systems.
Meanwhile a gleeful looking Kim, wearing a Western-style suit as he stood over Kim Il-sung Square, saluted formations of soldiers who yelled, "Long live!", to their despotic ruler.
Kim has accused President Donald Trump of provoking his nation with a series of increasingly aggressive moves, including sending the USS Carl Vinson to the Korean peninsula.
One of Kim's top officials, Choe Ryong Hae, today vowed North Korea would "beat down enemies with the power of nuclear justice".
US Vice President Mike Pence today warned the "era of patience" with Kim Jong-un is over and insisted America's commitment to South Korea is "iron-clad".
Pence, speaking in the perilous Demilitarized Zone separating North and South Korea, reiterated that "all options are on the table" to deal with the threat posed by Pyongyang.
After travelling to the region with his family, Pence said Donald Trump is hopeful that China will now use its "extraordinary levers" to pressure the North to abandon its nuclear and ballistic programme.
This morning he warned Kim Jong-un not to "test the resolve" of the US President and insisted any use of nuclear weapons by the secretive state would be met with "an overwhelming and effective response".
The visit came shortly after a failed North Korean missile launch that some claim may have been "thwarted by cyber attacks from the US."
Trump has ordered a naval strike group, led by the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, to the region, though the vessels remain a long way from the peninsula.
But this morning, Japanese media claimed both China and Russia had dispatched intelligence-gathering vessels from their navies to chase the "armada" amid mounting concern over the US deployment.
The claims were made by multiple sources of the Japanese government, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun.