SULAIMANI (ESTA) — North Korea unveiled unseen intercontinental ballistic missiles at an unprecedented predawn military parade on Saturday, Reuters reported.
The massive parade on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party showed off new weapons, including an intercontinental ballistic missile and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
Reuters cited analysts as saying that the missile, which was shown on a transporter vehicle with 11 axles, would be one of the largest road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) in the world if it becomes operational.
“The missile is a monster,” deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network Melissa Hanham told Reuters.
A senior U.S. administration official called the display of the ICBM “disappointing” and called on the government to negotiate to achieve a complete denuclearization, the news agency reported.
Also displayed were the Hwasong-15, which is the longest-range missile ever tested by North Korea, and what appeared to be a new SLBM.
Ahead of the parade, which was held to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers’ Party, officials in South Korea and the United States said Kim Jong Un could use the event to unveil a new “strategic weapon” as promised earlier this year.
Reuters cited the U.S. official as saying that Washington was holding fast to four commitments made by Trump and Kim at their historic meeting in June of that year, including a pledge by Pyongyang to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”
The parade featured North Korea’s ballistic missiles for the first time since Kim began meeting with international leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, in 2018.
“We will continue to build our national defense power and self-defensive war deterrence,” Kim said, according to Reuters.
He, however, vowed that the country’s military power would not be used preemptively.
The parade was highly choreographed, with thousands of troops marching in formation, displays of new conventional military equipment including tanks, and fighter jets launching flares and fireworks.
Experts said that the new, larger ICBM is likely designed to carry multiple independent reentry vehicles (MIRVs), allowing it to attack more targets and making interception more difficult.
Michael Elleman, director for Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, estimated on Twitter that the new large missile could potentially deliver 2,000-3,500 kg “to any point on CONUS,” making it more capable than Soviet R-16 or R-26 ICBMs that were never deployed.
South Korea’s presidential Blue House said on Sunday that it held an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the weapons and a speech by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“We emphasized various agreements made between the South and the North to prevent armed conflicts and war,” it said in a statement.