North Korea showed off a series of new and technologically advanced missiles and launchers during a military parade on Saturday.
North Korea displayed its submarine-launched ballistic missile and the land-based version it launched last month as well as two new intercontinental ballistic missile-sized canisters as the military paraded down Kim Il Sung Square, analysts said.
No nuclear test or ballistic missile launch was conducted during the celebration of the 105th birthday of Kim Il Sung, the country’s former supreme leader who died in 1994. He was the grandfather of the current leader, Kim Jong Un.
Two mobile canisters possibly containing ICMBs larger than anything North Korea has ever produced were shown, indicating North Korea may be working toward solid-fuel, canisterized ICBMs.
The solid-fueled missiles can be deployed faster and hidden more easily than liquid fueled missiles and their large size may indicate longer range.
“They have an indigenous tank system now so they have more launchers, and they have solid fuel, which means they can launch a lot more of these things in quick succession without having to refuel,” Melissa Hanham, an expert at California’s James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies said.
She also noted the land-based KN-15 missile was mounted on a special launcher that increased its off-road capabilities.
“It uses caterpillar treads which means it can go off road more easily, which mean they can hide them more easily,” Hanham said.
The display came after North Korea warned of “full scale war” if the “U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier fires a single bullet toward our territory.”
The U.S. Navy sent the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson strike group to the Korean Peninsula region last week.
By Daniel Uria