WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- Kim Jong Un on Saturday showcased North Korea’s new long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) during the 75th anniversary of the ruling party.
- Deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network Melissa Hanham said that the missile “was a monster.”
- Experts said that the ICBM can carry multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRVs), which can make more attacks that are harder to intercept.
For the first time in two years, North Korea unveiled a new long-range ballistic missile during a bizarre military parade on Saturday to mark the 75th anniversary of the country’s ruling party.
According to analysts, the missile, which was shown on a transporter vehicle with 11 axles, would be one of the world’s largest road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) when it becomes functional.
Melissa Hanham, the deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network, described the missile as “a monster.”
Hwasong 15, the longest-range missile ever tested by North Korea, was also shown during the parade. It looked like a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
US and South Korean officials have earlier said that Kim Jong Un could make use of the event to showcase a new “strategic weapon,” as the supreme leader promised this year.
According to a US senior administration official, the ICBM display was “disappointing,” asking the government to undergo negotiation that would aim for full denuclearization.
The parade highlighted Hermit Kingdon’s ballistic missiles for the first time since Kim started meeting with global leaders, which include US President Donald Trump in 2018.
“We will continue to build our national defense power and self-defensive war deterrence,” Kim said.
He vowed that the country’s military power would not be used preemptively. He did not talk about any issue regarding the US or the recent talks about denuclearisation.
Kim attributed the delayed promises of economic progress to international sanctions, typhoons, and the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am ashamed that I have never been able to repay you properly for your enormous trust. My efforts and devotion were not sufficient to bring our people out of difficult livelihoods,” he said.
Kim appeared as the clock struck midnight, based on a video post. While being surrounded by military officials in Pyongyang’s recently renovated Kim Il Sung Square, he waved to the crowd and accepted flowers from children.
According to experts, the new ICBM was designed to carry multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRVs) which could attack more targets that are harder to intercept.
The new ICBM was likely developed to prove that North Korea could pose a threat against the US, alongside a larger threat of testing the missile.
“If the Hwasong-15 could carry a ‘super-large’ nuclear warhead to anywhere in the U.S., then the natural question is what can this larger missile carry?” said Markus Garlauskas, a former US intelligence official for North Korea.