SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea’s unprecedented nighttime military parade on Saturday showcased an unusually wide array of new weapons, from a’ monster ‘ballistic missile showstop to never-before-seen battle tanks
The hardware, probably still in varying stages of development, offered leader Kim Jong Un a chance to show the world his advanced military might while adding practical capabilities to Korea’s already formidable nuclear and conventional forces. North, experts say
Kim is walking a fine line, seeking to increase pressure on the United States to ease sanctions without destroying relations with US President Donald Trump or Pyongyang’s partners in China
« Kim Jong Un’s speech did not threaten the United States, but rather called North Korea’s nuclear forces self-defense, » said Bruce Klingner, retired CIA analyst for Korea. North and now to the Heritage Foundation « The clear message was that, contrary to US claims, the North Korean nuclear threat has not been resolved »
The parade video suggested a huge, potentially deadlier Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), either due to multiple warheads or a larger payload, larger missile carriers, a sub-launched missile. new generation sailor and advances in conventional weaponry, military analysts told me
The star of Saturday’s show was a huge, never-before-seen ICBM, carried on an equally huge 11-axle transporter-assembler-launcher (TEL) vehicle
With an estimated length of 25-26 meters (82-85 feet) and 25-29 meters (8-95 feet) in diameter, the unidentified missile is believed to be the world’s largest road mobile ICBM, military analysts have said
Since the Hwasong-15, the largest missile North Korea has ever tested, can already target anywhere in the United States, the most likely practical use of the new ICBM would be the ability to carry multiple warheads, said Melissa Hanham, deputy director of the Open Nuclear Network
It is much cheaper for North Korea to add warheads than for the United States to add interceptors, said Jeffrey Lewis, a missile researcher at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies (CNS)
« If each new North Korean ICBM can carry 3-4 warheads, we would need around 12-16 interceptors for each missile, » he said on Twitter « The last time the US bought 14 interceptors it cost $ 1 billion »
« A bigger warhead doesn’t necessarily mean multiple warheads, a technology that I believe North Korea has yet to secure, » said Kim Dong-yup, a former South Korean naval officer who is now a professor at the Far Eastern Institute at Kyungnam University in Seoul
Analysts said it was also remarkable that North Korea appears to have built the huge new TELs to carry the new missiles
« They have a very limited supply of long TELs that they acquired from China, » said another CNS researcher Dave Schmerler, adding that the lack of vehicles has limited the number of ICBMs that could be deployed « So the longer TELs we saw were produced locally »
But the massive size of the new missile and its carrier also has its drawbacks, said Markus Schiller, a missile expert based in Europe.
« Only special roads and bridges could support this in a state of fuel, » he said « No sane person would drive this time bomb through the North Korean countryside »
It would probably take up to half a day to power such a large missile, making it difficult for it to deploy quickly in a war, which means the primary purpose of the missile is likely a political warning, Schiller said.
North Korea also unveiled what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), called the Pukguksong-4
« If the new SLBM is going to be deployed, it may be for the new conventionally powered ballistic missile submarine that North Korea hinted to build in July 2019, » analysts at 38 North say , a US think tank based on
At least some parts of the missile motor housing appeared to be filament wrapped, which would reduce the weight of the missile structure and allow for greater range and payload capacity, according to the report.
The parade featured what appeared to be new or updated weapons for North Korea’s conventional army, one of the largest in the world
The North has displayed row upon row of several rocket launcher and short-range ballistic missile systems that have been tested extensively over the past year
« My biggest concern was with the short-range solid-fuel tactical missiles that North Korea had focused on developing over the past year, » said Chun Yung-woo, a former negotiator South Korean nuclear
The parade also showed new mobile air defense radar vehicles and what appeared to be an entirely new tank with anti-tank missiles and smoke grenade launchers more tightly integrated into the design than previous imported models
All quotes have been delayed by at least 15 minutes See here for a full list of exchanges and delays
North Korea, Kim Jong-un, military parade, Workers’ Party of Korea, intercontinental ballistic missile, Pyongyang
News from around the world – CA – Analysis: Kim from North Korea speak softly, show new military might
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