North Koreans cheer missile launch in bizarre propaganda film
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Held yesterday to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the North Korean Army, the country’s Supreme leader vowed to ramp up development of nuclear weapons. The parade showcased some terrifying weapons in Kim’s arsenal, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that experts warn could reach the US. While displaying the country’s deadly weaponry, he also unveiled a new SLBM, which appears to be longer and larger than the Pukguksong-5, a previous SLBM that was first revealed at a parade last January.
According to South Korean media reports, it seems likely that the missile will also have a larger range and will also have the capability to mount multiple warheads.
Yang Wook, associate research fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, said: “Since the height of the truck’s cabin and the missile’s height coincide with the military parade in 2021, the diameter is the same.
“It can be estimated that there has been a slight increase.
“It seems that the length of the warhead has been increased in the process of increasing the firing range and expanding the warhead.”
At the parade, Kim Jong-un also vowed to “strengthen and develop” its nuclear forces at the “highest possible” speed.
He then issued a terrifying warning to the West, stating any country or force that tried to confront North Korea militarily would “cease to exist”, describing his nuclear arsenal as both a “symbol of national power and the basis of our military power.”
In a statement released by the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim said: “True peace can be trusted and national dignity and national sovereignty can be guaranteed by the powerful self-defence force that can overcome the enemy.”
He added that his nuclear force’s first mission was “to deter war,” but if anyone tried to “to take away the fundamental interests of our country, our nuclear force will have no choice but to carry out its second mission”.
Aside from the SLBM, North Korean military also showcased the Hwasong-17 ICBM, which they claimed to be one of their greatest military achievements yet.
In March, North Korea claimed that it successfully tested the launch of the missile, with a state media report describing the launch as a “powerful nuclear war deterrent”.
The report also quoted Kim as saying that North Korea was “fully ready” for any potential military confrontation with the United States.
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According to experts, the Hwasong-17 could put the entirety of the US mainland within North Korea’s range, although there have been questions over whether the missile can deliver a nuclear payload on target.
Ankit Panda, a nuclear weapons expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said “Kim put solid-fueled ICBMs on his Jan. 2021 8th Party Congress wish list.
“So I wouldn’t be shocked if one of these is flight-tested in due time.”
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