U.S. analyzing N. Korea’s military parade in consultation with allies: defense dept
WASHINGTON, The United States is in consultation with its Asian allies to analyze North Korea’s latest military parade, a U.S. defense official said Saturday, hours after the communist state showcased a new intercontinental ballistic missile that is believed to be its largest so far.
“We are aware of reports related to the parade,” John Supple, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Defense, told Yonhap News Agency.
“Our analysis is ongoing and we are consulting with our Allies in the region,” he added.
The North’s newly disclosed ICBM was carried on a transporter erector launcher (TEL) with 22 wheels, indicating it is longer than any of the previous long-range missiles.
“Such a massive road-mobile missile — likely the biggest such missile on the planet — would have the capability to add either increased range or be able to carry a bigger payload,” said Harry Kazianis, senior director of Korean studies at a Washington-based policy think tank, the Institute for the National Interest.
In a midnight speech marking the 75th founding anniversary of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said his country will never use its defense capabilities “as a means for preemptive strike,” but that it will continue to build up its war deterrent.
“But, if, and if, any forces infringe upon the security of our state and attempt to have recourse to military force against us, I will enlist all our most powerful offensive strength in advance to punish them,” he added.
Kim made no mention of the United States, which is traditionally a key topic of any major speech given by a North Korean leader.
Source: Yonhap News Agency