Kim speaks before military parade

Sunday, 11 Oct, 2020

According to Seoul's joint chiefs of staff, the display actually took place in the early hours of Saturday, when they said in a statement that "signs of a military parade - involving equipment and people on a large scale - were detected at Kim Il Sung Square".

In a speech at the event, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emphasized that his country was building up its military capabilities as a deterrent, and said that Pyongyang would only strike in "retribution" to an enemy provocation.

"We will continue to build our national defense power and self-defensive war deterrence", he reportedly said in his remarks.

Though he did not directly mention the United States, Kim sent "warm regards" to South Korea, expressing hope that the two countries could soon improve relations that have worsened this year.

Lee argues that Kim Jong Un focused on the parade to mark the party's anniversary, in order to cover up and compensate for the fact that he has failed to achieve his economic goals.

Duyeon Kim, an analyst at the Washington-based Center for a New American Security, said the size of the ICBM pointed to North Korea's intent to flawless a much bigger missile that can more easily reach the US mainland.

North Korea is believed to have three types of ICBMs - the Hwasong-13, Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, and it has sought to develop a multiple-warhead ICBM that can fly further and is harder to intercept.

While attendees at other holiday events were shown wearing masks, no one at the parade appeared to be wearing any masks.

Korean Central Television has broadcast footage of what appears to be a new, never-before-seen intercontinental ballistic missile at a predawn military parade dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the founding of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party.

Outside observers were expecting the North to possibly unveil the latest weapons in its growing nuclear arsenal that threatens U.S. allies in Asia and the American mainland.

Analysts expected a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) or an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States mainland to appear - maybe even one with multiple re-entry vehicle capabilities that could allow it to evade USA defence systems.

Displaying a weapon at a parade, rather than by staging a test launch, might be a less provocative way for Pyongyang to demonstrate its military capabilities.

South Korean officials said this week that Kim could use the event as a "low intensity" show of power ahead of the USA presidential election on November 3, as denuclearisation talks with Washington have stalled.

© Provided by New York Daily News This image - from video broadcasted by North Korea's KRT - shows an what appears to be a giant intercontinental ballistic missile. SLBMs are mobile and easier to hide, adding an unpredictable component to North Korea's arsenal.

The March 25-28, 2018 meeting was Kim's first diplomatic trip overseas to meet a foreign leader since coming to power in 2011. But in January, Kim Jong Un indicated that he had become disillusioned about the prospect of reaching a deal with the USA, and said he was no longer bound by a self-imposed moratorium on testing nuclear weapons. But talks have faltered over disagreements on disarmament steps and the removal of sanctions imposed on the North.

Kim blamed worldwide sanctions, typhoons, and the coronavirus for preventing him from delivering on promises of economic progress.

Authoritarian North Korea is keen about anniversaries, and this week's festivities were earmarked for years in advance as a major event to glorify Kim's achievements as leader.