N. Korea unveils new ICBM at military parade
SEOUL-- North Korea on Saturday unveiled what appears to be its new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), staging a large-scale military parade in Pyongyang amid increased military tensions on the peninsula.
A trailer carrying a missile-shaped canister rolled through the main square of the capital in front of leader Kim Jong-un and other top officials of the communist regime, showed TV footage.
Although what's inside was not confirmed, it strongly indicated the North's new IBCM.
South Korean military officials also said they regard it as a new type of ICBM.
"It's presumed to be a new ICBM. It seems longer than the existing KN-08 or KN-14 ICBMs, an official said.
Some experts said it may be another upgrade version in the Pukguksong ballistic missile series.
"Chances seem high that it's an ICBM with a cold launch system using solid fuel," said Kim Dong-yup, a professor at the Institute for Far East Studies of Kyungnam University. "It may be a Pukguksong-3."
The North also rolled out what is seen as a KN-14 ICBM, which was made public in its 2015 military parade. It was moved on a 16-wheel transporter erector launcher (TEL).
What could be a KN-08 ICBM, first shown in the 2012 parade, also appeared again, along with various other ballistic missiles including what the North claims to be a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).
It marks the first time that the secretive communist nation has unveiled the new weapon apparently in development at such a public event.
A new intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM), which Pyongyang calls the Pukguksong-2, showed up as well to commemorate the 105th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, the North's late founding leader and grandfather of Kim Jong-un.
The model, also known as a KN-15 missile, is an upgraded version of an SLBM, called Pukguksong.
In February, the North test-fired a Pukguksong-2 missile, which flew more than 500km into eastern waters, followed by Pyongyang's announcement that the launch was a "complete success."
Also shown were Scud-ER ballistic missiles, KN-06 surface-to-air missiles, multiple-launch anti-ship missiles and 300-mm artillery rockets.
The North's display of the strategic weapons to the world is apparently aimed at boasting of its military firepower as the U.S. continues to deploy high-profile defense assets near the peninsula.
The U.S. Navy's strike group, led by the Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, is en route to waters around Korea in the Donald Trump administration's warning message to Pyongyang.
Tensions have been rising in Korea since the launch of the Trump government seeking to ratchet up pressure on the Kim Jong-un regime for its nuclear and missile ambitions.
U.S. officials have openly said they leave "all options" on the table in dealing with the North. The recent airstrike on Syria and bombing of ISIS positions in Afghanistan show that the Trump government is willing to use military force when it's necessary, observers said,
On Friday, the North's military issued a statement threatening the "toughest counteraction" to destroy American military bases and South Korea's presidential compound in case of aggression against Pyongyang.
It argued that the Trump administration's "serious military hysteria has reached a dangerous phase which can no longer be overlooked."
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff strongly denounced the North for the latest threat.
It urged the North to immediately halt such threats and "rash" acts, saying it will only face the "strong and resolute retaliation" of the South Korea-U.S. alliance and the destruction of its own regime.
Source: Yonhap News Agency