Nuclear-armed North Korea showcased its missile production muscle during a nighttime parade, state media reported on Thursday, displaying more intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) than ever before and hinting at a new solid-fuel weapon.
The country has forged ahead with its ballistic missile programme, test-launching dozens of advanced missiles last year despite United Nations Security Council resolutions and sanctions. reuters confirmed
North Korea displayed its largest-ever collection of nuclear missiles during a nighttime parade, sending a clear message to the United States and its leader, Kim Jong Un: despite repeated efforts, the US cannot stop North Korea from advancing its military capabilities. The Hwasong-17 has the theoretical range to reach the United States, but it remains to be seen if it can survive reentry and hit a desired target from such a distance.
This display undermines over 20 years of US homeland missile defense policy, which was predicated on defending against a limited missile threat from North Korea. Critics argue that the US’ ground-based midcourse defense system (GMD) would not be able to stop a significant number of North Korean missiles, let alone just one. The GMD system has only ever been tested once at night and failed, leading experts to believe that an adversary might launch intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) at night to take advantage of the sun’s absence, which makes it easier to track the reentry vehicle carrying the warhead.
The Biden administration has taken a hands-off approach to North Korea, but North Korea has yet to respond to the administration’s offer to engage in talks without preconditions. Meanwhile, the US has grown closer to South Korea and Japan, which has angered North Korea. In response to these joint military exercises, which North Korea views as a precursor to war, North Korea launched the largest number of cruise and ballistic missiles in 2022. This historic rate led the South Korean President to publicly consider developing nuclear weapons.
North Korea also showcased a series of vehicles carrying solid-fuel missile canisters, representing their effort to develop land-based, solid-fuel ICBMs. These weapons do not need to be fueled before launch, shortening the time North Korea has to launch them before an adversary shoots them on the ground. Analysts believe that this year’s version of the canister on the nine-wheel chassis is likely a mock-up, but it is bigger than previous versions and shows that North Korea is moving closer to fielding an operational solid-fuel ICBM.
The Biden administration has yet to respond to this display, but it implies that administration after administration has failed to stop North Korea’s march towards nuclear deterrence, and now North Korea is parading its capabilities in front of the world. North Korea has become the third nuclear deterrent relationship for the United States, much like Russia and China.
According to CNN Said In a country where the Kim family and the military are all powerful, the presence of the girl at such an important event sends clear signals, said Easley, the Ewha University professor.
“By ostentatiously including his wife and daughter, Kim wants observers at home and abroad to see his family dynasty and the North Korean military as irrevocably linked,” he said.