North Korea displays advanced ICBMs at military parade

A television shows the parade for the anniversary of the creation of the North Korean army.

Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

North Korea showed nearly a dozen advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at an evening military parade Wednesday, in what state media said was evidence of the country's "greatest nuclear strike capability," according to CNN.

The missiles paraded through Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square as leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife and a girl believed to be his daughter looked on.

The widely anticipated event, marking the anniversary of the founding of North Korea's military, comes less than two months after leader Kim called for an "exponential increase" in his country's nuclear arsenal in response to what he claims are threats from South Korea and the United States.

The ICBMs displayed North Korea's "highest" nuclear strike capability, North Korea's KCNA news agency said, adding that the parade also featured tactical nuclear units.

Images released by state media showed up to 11 Hwasong-17, North Korea's largest ICBMs, which are suspected to have the range to strike almost anywhere in the world with a nuclear warhead.

“These are cumulatively more ICBM launchers than we have ever seen in a North Korean parade before,” Ankit Panda of the US-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said on Twitter.

If such ICBMs are equipped with multiple warheads, that number could be enough to overwhelm existing US missile defense systems," Ankit Panda added.

More missile tests

Last year, North Korea tested more missiles than at any time in its history, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could theoretically strike the continental United States.

That missile, the Hwasong-17, which was first tested last year, is what analysts said were on display in record numbers Wednesday night.

Prior to the show, commercial satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies showed at least 17 of what were believed to be mobile ballistic missile launchers lined up in preparation for the parade.

In addition to intercontinental ballistic missiles, North Korean state media said the parade featured tactical missiles and long-range cruise missilesaccording to REUTERS.

The Kim regime uses its military parades to bolster domestic support for its military programs while sending a signal to the United States, South Korea and others that it is prepared to respond to any attack.

Wednesday night's parade followed a lavish banquet the night before at which Kim put a girl believed to be her daughter Ju Ae in the spotlightthe latest sign that the girl is possibly being groomed as her eventual successor.

It may interest you:

– North Korea continues to fire missiles, including a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile
– Seoul and Washington will carry out theoretical simulation that contemplates a nuclear attack by North Korea
– North Korea threatens the US to react with “overwhelming nuclear force” and “tougher”

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