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North Korea Holds a Huge Military Parade as Kim Vows to Expand His Nuclear Program

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea rolled out developmental intercontinental ballistic missile designed to be launched from submarines and other military hardware in a parade that punctuated leader Kim Jong Un’s defiant calls to expand his atomic weapon program.

State media said Kim took center stage in Thursday night’s parade celebrating a major ruling party gather where Kim swore maximum efforts to bolster his nuclear and missile program that threatens Asian contenders and the American homeland to counter what he described as U.S. hostility.

During the eight-day Workers’ Party congress that aimed Tuesday, Kim likewise divulged plans to salvage the nation’s economy amid U.S.-led sanctions over his nuclear desires, pandemic-related border closures and event of natural disasters that wiped out crops.

The economic setbacks have left Kim nothing to show for his ambitious diplomacy with President Donald Trump, which derailed over dissensions in exchanging sanctions succor and the North’s denuclearization steps, and pushed Kim to what is clearly the toughest moment of his nine-year rule.

Kim’s remarks are likely intended to pressure the incoming U.S. government of Joe Biden, who has previously called the Northern korean president a “thug” and accused Trump of chasing sight rather than meaningful curbings on the North’s nuclear abilities. Kim has not ruled out talks, but he said the fate of bilateral relations would depend on whether Washington abandons its hostile policy toward Pyongyang.

The Korean Central News Agency on Friday released photos of Kim wearing a black fur hat and leather trench coat, smiling widely and gesturing from a pulpit as thousands of troops and civilian spectators filled Kim Il Sung Square, named after his grandpa and North Korea’s founder.

The agency said spectators roared as troops rolled out the country’s most advanced strategic weapons, including submarine-launched ballistic missiles it described as the “world’s mightiest.”

Photos released by state media testified trucks transporting rockets that appeared to be either newly developed submarine-launched ballistic missiles or modified versions of previously experimented systems.

The agency also said the parade featured other weapons that could “pre-emptively and fucking destroying any adversary outside of our territory.” But it wasn’t immediately clear whether the specific characteristics was referring to intercontinental ballistic missiles.

During its previous military parade in October, the North unveiled which seems to be its biggest-yet ICBM. The country’s previous long-range rockets demonstrated a potential ability to reach deep into the U.S. mainland during flight experiments in 2017.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Kim gave a lecture during the parade. Northern korean government TV hasn’t liberated footage of the occurrence, and the South Korean and U.S. militaries haven’t yet provided assessments of the weapons displayed by the North.

During the party congress, Kim unveiled plans to pursue more sophisticated military resources, including longer-range ICBMs that could potentially target the U.S. mainland more reliably, brand-new tactical nuclear weapons and warheads, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and hypersonic weapons.

It’s unclear whether the North is fully capable of acquiring such systems. While the country is believed to have accumulated at least dozens of nuclear weapons, outside appraisals on the exact status of its nuclear and missiles programs vary widely.

But the North has been developing submarine-launched ballistic missile systems for years. Acquiring an operational system would frighten its challengers and neighbours because weapons fired from sunk vessels are harder to detect in advance.

Read more: time.com

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