North Korea on Thursday confirmed it staged a massive military parade to mark the 75th founding anniversary of its armed forces, during which it displayed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that have the maximum nuclear attack capability.
Leader Kim Jong-un attended the event on Wednesday night along with his wife Ri Sol-ju and apparent second child, Ju-ae, but gave no public speech, Yonhap News Agency quoted Pyongyang’s state media as saying.
Flanked by top military and party officials, Kim took to the reviewing stand to watch the night-time military parade held in Kim Il Sung Square to mark the Korean People’s Army (KPA) anniversary.
Clad in a long black coat and wearing a felt hat, Kim smiled and waved to the crowd, photos released by the KCNA showed.
His outfit was reminiscent of those of the country’s late founder, Kim Il-sung.
ICBMs and other major weapons rolled through the square, with the North claiming the missiles showed off the “maximum” nuclear attack capability, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
The North also presented “tactical nuclear units” in a demonstration of its “war deterrence and counterstrike capabilities”.
According to satellite images from the US-based space technology firm Maxar Technologies, the North appeared to have paraded a range of new ballistic missiles, including its Hwasong-17 ICBMs on a mobile launcher.
Though many of the missiles remain unidentified, some observers raised the possibility that the list of the missiles on display might include a solid-propellant one that the North has recently been working on.
The North is expected to air recorded footage of the military parade later on Thursday.
Since Kim took power following his father’s death in late 2011, his regime has staged 13 military parades, including the latest one.