North Korea unveiled a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICMB) at a military parade Saturday, showing off its long-range weapons for the first time in two years.
The missile appeared to be one of the largest Pyongyang has ever rolled out and adds to its already threatening stockpile of weapons.
“This missile is a monster,” Melissa Hanham, deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network, told Reuters.
North Korea also displayed the Hwasong-15, the longest-range missile ever tested by North Korea, and what seemed to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The parade Saturday was held to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party, a top holiday in North Korea.
The event marked the first time strongman Kim Jong Un had displayed weapons since he met with President Trump for an ultimately unsuccessful denuclearization summit in 2018.
“We will continue to strengthen the war deterrent, the righteous self-defense means, so as to contain and control all the dangerous attempts and intimidatory acts by the hostile forces, including their sustained and aggravating nuclear threat,” Kim said in remarks at the parade.
“Our Party has already built up the strongest military capability of safeguarding peace, with which to firmly defend socialism, the dignity and lifeline of our people, and to make our people enjoy the benefits of prosperity generation after generation on this land, eternally free from war,” he added.
“As everyone will clearly see today, comparing it with the military parade held in this place in celebration of the 70th founding anniversary of the WPK only five years ago, the modernity of our military forces has remarkably improved and anyone can easily guess the speed of its development.”
Kim cast North Korea as a country under threat from an array of international forces, blaming sanctions as well as the coronavirus from hindering economic progress. But he was adamant that he will serve to keep the country safe.
“I will cherish it as the highest honor to have, serve and struggle for such excellent people,” he said. “I solemnly swear once again in this place that I will live up to the people’s trust without fail even if my body is torn and crushed to pieces on the way of defending their great trust and that I will remain faithful to that trust.
“Our Party, with powerful military strength, will guarantee the sovereignty of the country and reliable security of its territory and safeguard the eternal safety, peace and future of the state and people.”
The highly choreographed event featured the missiles as well as troops marching lockstep with each other in an attempt to portray military strength abroad following collapsed talks over its arsenal.
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill regarding the weapons displayed at the parade.
Trump has held two summits with Kim to mainly focus on his nuclear arsenal, though both talks collapsed over disagreements over sanctions relief.
Sources: The New York Times and The Hill; Photo: Reuters.com