North Korea’s Kim Jong Un revealed his regime’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles that are apparently under development and other military technology during a parade in Pyongyang, according to state-run media and photos.
According to state-run KCNA, Kim appeared at a parade on Thursday evening along with what state media described as the “world’s most powerful weapon,” claiming they’re North Korea’s “submarine-launch ballistic missile (sic)” that “entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces.”
Kim did not address the crowd, but, according to state media, he waved to them. Instead, Kim Jong Gwan, the communist regime’s defense minister, gave a speech.
The minister said the military will “always remain faithful only to the order and instructions of the Supreme Leader and successfully fulfil (sic) their duty and mission” on behalf of the ruling Workers’ Party and the Kim dynasty.
Footage on state-run television broadcasters showed four of the launchers, with black-and-white cones, in the center of Pyongyang.
The weapons’ actual capabilities remain unclear, and it’s not known if the missiles have been tested in any capacity.
“No matter who is in power in the United States, the true nature and the true spirit of the anti-North Korea policy will never change,” Kim said Saturday. “The development of nuclear weapons will be pushed forward without interruption.”
KCNA claimed the parade featured other missiles capable of “thoroughly annihilating enemies in a pre-emptive way outside (our) territory.” It’s not exactly clear if it was referring to the country’s reported intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank, said the U.S. should ramp up sanctions enforcement while continuing military drills with South Korea.
“Throughout its history, the Kim family regime has exploited dialogue with the U.S. and South Korea solely to gain economic and political benefits without ever providing anything in return,” according to the report, as cited by the Wall Street Journal. The next administration, the report said, “must not surrender to Kim’s demands.”
One expert said that the submarine-launched missiles are meant to send a message to the United States.
“North Korea doesn’t need an SLBM. It is not for the South, it’s for the U.S. In that aspect, it sends a message aimed at pressuring the U.S. ahead of the incoming Biden administration,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies, told Yonhap.
“But the North is not sending a message to the U.S. warning that it will take action. It is sending an unspoken message to force the incoming administration to prioritize North Korea in their policies and to withdraw hostile policy against the North,” he added.