SEOUL, South Korea — The north koreans rolled out developmental ballistic missile designed to be launched from submarines and other military hardware in a parade that interrupted leader Kim Jong Un’s defiant calls to expand his atomic weapon program.
State media said Kim took centre stage in Thursday night’s parade celebrating a major ruling party session where Kim vowed maximum efforts to bolster his nuclear and missile program that threatens Asian competitives and the American homeland to counter what he described as U.S. hostility.
During the eight-day Workers’ Party congress that pointed Tuesday, Kim also exposed plans to salvage the nation’s economy amid U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear desires, pandemic-related border closures and natural disasters that wiped out harvests.
The economic setbacks have left Kim nothing to show for his ambitious diplomacy with President Donald Trump, which derailed over disagreements in exchanging sanctions succor and the North’s denuclearization steps, and pushed Kim to what is clearly the toughest moment of his nine-year rule.
Kim’s notes are likely intended to pressure the incoming U.S. government of Joe Biden, who has previously called the North Korean leader a “thug” and accused Trump of chasing spectacle rather than meaningful kerbs on the North’s nuclear abilities. Kim has not ruled out talks, but he said the fate of bilateral relations would depend on whether Washington vacates its hostile plan toward Pyongyang.
The Korean Central News Agency on Friday liberated photos of Kim wearing a black fur hat and leather trench coat, smiling widely and gesturing from a rostrum as thousands of troops and civilian spectators filled Kim Il Sung Square, named after his grandpa and North Korea’s founder.
The agency said spectators roared as troops rolled out the country’s most advanced strategic weapons, including submarine-launched ballistic missiles it described as the “world’s mightiest.”
Photos released by state media proved trucks hauling rockets that appeared to be either newly rising submarine-launched ballistic missiles or modified different versions of previously experimented systems.
The agency also said the parade featured other rockets that could “pre-emptively and fucking destroying any foe outside of our territory.” But it wasn’t immediately clear whether the description was mentioned by intercontinental ballistic missiles.
During its previous military parade in October, the North unveiled which seems to be its biggest-yet ICBM. The country’s previous long-range weapons demonstrated a potential ability to reach deep into the U.S. mainland during flight tests in 2017.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Kim gave a speech during the parade. Northern korean country TV hasn’t liberated footage of the event, and the South Korean and U.S. militaries haven’t yet provided assessments of the weapons displayed by the North.
During the party congress, Kim unveiled plans to pursue more sophisticated military assets, including longer-range ICBMs that could potentially target the U.S. mainland more reliably, brand-new tactical nuclear weapons and warheads, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and hypersonic weapons.
It’s unclear whether the North is fully capable of acquiring such systems. While the country is believed to have accumulated at least dozens of nuclear weapons, outside approximates on the exact status of its nuclear and missiles programs vary widely.
But the North has been developing submarine-launched ballistic missile structures for years. Acquiring an operational system would alarm its competitors and neighbors because weapons fired from submerged ships are harder to detect in advance.
Read more: time.com