the north korean leader kim jong un supervised a grand military parade who exhibited at least a dozen of his most advanced intercontinental missileson the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the country’s armed forces.
The parade on Wednesday night in Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Square included fireworks, military bands and uniformed soldiers marching in unison, according to the official KCNA news agency.
In a black coat and felt hat, an outfit worn by his grandfather and founder of the country, Kim Il Sung, the leader He attended the parade with his wife, Ri Sol-ju, and their daughter Ju-ae, according to official photos.
The footage shows Kim on the red carpet, accompanied by his generals, inspecting soldiers with bayonets and greeting passing troops and missile units.
Weapons on display included at least 10 Hwasong-17 intercontinental missiles (ICBMs)the most advanced in the country, and vehicles apparently designed to transport Solid fuel ICBMindicated the specialized website NK News.
a new missile
The North Korean regime displayed what appears to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that would run on solid fuel, which would increase the efficiency of these projectiles and the danger that his arsenal implies.
According to photos made public this Thursday by the newspaper rodongthe parade that commemorated the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean Army was closed with the presence of five launch erector transporters (TEL) similar to those that carry the largest of the North Korean ICBM missiles (the Hwasong-17).
However, in this case the TEL carried containers inside which this new type of missileas the analyst community assumes after the publication of the snapshots.
Pyongyang announced in its weapons modernization plan of January 2021 that it would develop a new solid-fuel intercontinental missile and in fact carried out the first test of an engine of this type for ICBMs last December, a test that was attended by the leader himself. North Korean Kim Jong-un.
Compared to liquid (the type of fuel used by all North Korean ICBMs developed to date), solid allows a much safer and faster charging and it prevents projectiles from being exposed to long-term pre-emptive strikes if satellites and other surveillance assets alert them to a potential launch.
In turn, the photos of the rodong showed that in the parade they exhibited up to 11 units of the aforementioned Hwasong-17the ICBM with the longest potential range in the North Korean arsenal.
It is a record number, since until now the regime had only displayed four units of the Hwasong-17 simultaneously in its parades.
As detailed by the agency KCNAthe event also served to parade, “nuclear tactical units”, a section of its arsenal that the regime has developed with special interest in recent years.
In the last year, Pyongyang has further hardened its rhetoric and carried out around fifty missile launches, a record number, in many cases in response to the military tests carried out by Seoul and Washington, which has caused a level of tension. never before seen on the peninsula
The country regularly holds military parades to mark important dates and events, and they are closely watched for clues to the secretive regime’s progress in its ballistic and nuclear weapons programs.
The public cheered as a column of the country’s intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) appeared in the square, the agency said.
The parade showcased “the transformative development of the country’s largest defensive capability and nuclear strike capability,” it added.
Satellite images taken by Maxar Technologies at 10:05 p.m. (1305 GMT) on Wednesday showed a large North Korean flag and thousands of people gathered in the square.
Analysts said the scale of the weapons on display highlighted progress that represents a challenge for the United States.
“They have shown more ICBMs in the last parade than they have shown before, consistent with Kim Jong-un’s long-standing directive on the mass production of nuclear weapons and delivery systems”, analyst Ankit Panda told AFP.
He called this a problem for Washington, which has planned a local missile defense system to deal with a “limited” threat from North Korean missiles. “North Korea has already shown that its nuclear forces are far from limited,” Panda said.
Other analysts pointed out that by showing off more Hwasong-17 missiles than in the past, Pyongyang is sending a clear message. “This is North Korea trying to declare that it is a full-fledged nuclear powerLeif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, told AFP.
Appearance of the “princess”
The North Korean state press went years without mentioning Kim’s children. However, last November she appeared with her daughter during the launch of a ballistic missile. Thus, she entered the public eye, dominated by official propaganda.
Since then, the 10-year-old girl has appeared alongside her father at various events, most notably Tuesday at a banquet for the anniversary of the founding of the armed forces.
The young woman, whose age or name has not been officially revealed (although it is believed that she could be called Kim Ju-ae), was with her father and mother, Ri Sol-ju, in the stands from where they watched the parade. Her identity has not been released, but South Korean intelligence experts believe that could be Kim’s middle daughter. Seoul believes that the dictator and his wife had three children around 2010, 2013 and 2017.
Analysts have pointed out that she is the equivalent of a North Korean “princess” and that his frequent presence with his father could indicate that he is his designated successor. The increasing presence of Kim’s daughter on prominent occasions such as this 75th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean army has sparked speculation about her intentions.
Kim Jong-un’s father, Kim Jong-il, chose him as his successor over his older sons, among other things because of his physical resemblance.
(With information from AFP and EFE)
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