SEOUL: North Korea showcased previously unseen intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) at an unprecedented predawn military parade on Saturday (Oct 10) that showcased the country's long-range missiles for the first time in two years.
Analysts said the missile, which was shown on a transporter vehicle with 11 axles, would be one of the largest road-mobile ICBMs in the world if it becomes operational.
Also displayed were the Hwasong-15, which is the longest-range missile ever tested by North Korea, and what appeared to be a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
Ahead of the parade, which was held to mark the 75th anniversary of the founding of its ruling Workers' Party, officials in South Korea and the United States said Kim Jong Un could use the event to unveil a new "strategic weapon" as promised earlier this year.
The parade featured North Korea's ballistic missiles for the first time since Kim began meeting with international leaders, including US President Donald Trump, in 2018.
"We will continue to build our national defence power and self-defensive war deterrence," Kim said, but vowed that the country's military power would not be used preemptively. He made no direct mention of the United States or the now-stalled denuclearisation talks.
State news agency KCNA said the authority and security of North Korea hinged on "the huge nuclear strategic forces" shown in the parade.
Kim blamed international sanctions, typhoons, and the coronavirus for preventing him from delivering on promises of economic progress.
"I am ashamed that I have never been able to repay you properly for your enormous trust," he said. "My efforts and devotion were not sufficient to bring our people out of difficult livelihoods."
The parade was highly choreographed, with thousands of troops marching in formation, displays of new conventional military equipment including tanks, and fighter jets launching flares and fireworks.
Chad O'Carroll, CEO of the Korea Risk Group, which monitors North Korea, said more new military hardware had been displayed at this event than at nearly any other previous parade.