War threat: North Korea unveils ‘world’s most powerful weapon’ at parade

North Korea ‘focused on military capacity’ says expert

Several of the enormous black and white submarine-launched missiles were paraded on the back of trucks in Pyongyang. Images from the event show large crowds gathered, fireworks lighting up the sky and smiling Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

It comes as no surprise to analysts that such a show of might has taken place with Joe Biden set to be inaugurated on January 20.

Korean Central News Agency said of the unveiling: “The world’s most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missile, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces.”

Ankit Panda, author of ‘Kim Jong-un and the Bomb’ wrote about the weapons, labelled Pukguksong-5, on Twitter.

Pukguksong-4 was unveiled at a larger military parade in October, suggesting the latest incarnation is an upgrade. North Korea tested a Pukguksong-3 in 2019.

The Korean word ‘Pukguksong’ translates to ‘for use in water’.

Mr Panda said: “New year, new Pukguksong.

“One new Pukguksong designation per year in 2019, 2020 and 2021 so far.

“They’d like us to notice that they’re getting more proficient with larger solid rocket boosters.”

Last week, Mr Kim held the first Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea in five years where he outlined plans to build smaller and lighter nuclear weapons.

He said North Korea’s focus is on “subduing” the US, which he describes as its “biggest enemy”, and has said “research for a nuclear-powered submarine has been completed”.

Mr Kim also indicated the intention to produce large rockets capable of hitting targets 9,320 miles away. Washington DC is 6,857 miles from Pyongyang.

During the US election campaign, President-elect Biden and said the “days of cosying up to dictators are over”.

North Korea, in exchange, called Mr Biden a “rabid dog” that needed to be “beaten to death with a stick”.

Edward Howell, politics lecturer and North Korea specialist at the University of Oxford, says it would come as no surprise if further nuclear and long-range testing occurs this year.

He told : “Historically, we see North Korea provokes in an election year then they tend to wait and, when the results are announced, provoke again.

“We should not be surprised if further nuclear and long-range missile tests occur in 2021 but at the same time, is it really in Kim Jong-un’s best interests to conduct such provocations so soon after Biden is inaugurated as President?

“It is not unlikely that the DPRK decides to wait and see a more concrete materialization of the Biden administration’s policies.

“Indeed, what Kim Jong-un’s recent statements show is that North Korea continues to perceive the US as a ‘hostile’ power, and, in so doing, will not abandon its nuclear weapons.”


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