North Korea unveiled what appeared to be a new intercontinental ballistic missile during a military parade on Saturday night, though it is unclear whether the weapon is functional or built for show, according to the New York Times.
Why it matters: If it does work, analysts say it would be North Korea’s largest long-range missile to date, potentially able to fly further and carry a more powerful nuclear warhead than the country’s previous ICBMs.
- It not known whether the missile has been flight-tested.
The big picture: The technology demonstrates that the country has improved its missile and nuclear innovation despite pressure from the United States, international sanctions, typhoons and the coronavirus pandemic.
- “What North Korea has shown us, what appears to be a new liquid-fueled ICBM that seems to be a derivative of what was tested back in late 2017, known as the Hwasong-15, is much bigger and clearly more powerful than anything in the DPRK’s arsenal,” Harry Kazianis, senior director of Korean studies at the Washington D.C.-based Center for the National Interest, told CNN.
What they’re saying: “We will continue to build our national defense power and self-defensive war deterrence,” Reuters quoted Kim Jong-un as saying during a speech at the parade.
- Kim also said that the country’s military power would not be used preemptively and made no direct mention of the now-stalled denuclearization talks with the U.S., Reuters reported.