North Korea unveils giant intercontinental ballistic missile in parade

The parade was held to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party in the nuclear-weapon country.

North Korea unveiled a giant intercontinental ballistic missile on Saturday during an imposing military parade, a show of force by the regime in the face of Covid-19 as well, President Kim Jong Un assuring an unmasked crowd that no case was identified in the country.

"The largest mobile liquid combustion missile ever seen"

The intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), placed on a tractor-erector-launcher, which had no less than 11 axles, paraded on Kim Il Sung Square - named after the founder of the regime -, which overlooked the platform of the northern leader -Korean, according to state television channel KCTV.

It is "the largest mobile liquid-combustion missile ever seen to date," tweeted Akit Panda of the Federation of American Scientists, an NGO scrutinizing nuclear risks.

"We will continue to strengthen our army, for the purposes of self-defense and deterrence," the North Korean leader in gray suit told the crowd in a delayed speech broadcast on state television. "If you don't have the strength, you will have to wipe away the tears and the blood that will flow from your two clenched fists," he added.

The ICBM was preceded by a Pukguksong-4a, a new submarine-launched sea-to-surface missile that would add a new dimension to the North Korean regime's military arsenal.

According to the South Korean general staff, the military parade took place early Saturday morning, several hours before it was broadcast on television, and was "closely" watched by South Korean and American intelligence services.

At the end of December, the North Korean leader threatened to present a "new strategic weapon" but some experts believe that Pyongyang does not intend to anger the White House before the US presidential election.

For Leif-Eric Easley, professor at Ewha University in Seoul, it is not possible to know how well the equipment shown "really works."

But "the weaponry on display at the parade is a serious reminder that North Korea must not be ignored," he added. Experts are convinced that North Korea has continued its nuclear and ballistic programs, which it justifies by the American threat, including during negotiations with the United States, in an impasse for more than a year.

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