North Korea Rolls Out New Missiles During Founder’s Birthday Celebrations

During a Saturday parade commemorating its founder’s birthday, North Korea rolled out what appeared to be new intercontinental ballistic missiles. The country has been warned against having such weapons. (Wong Maye-E/AP)

Amid the fanfare and regalia of its founder’s birthday celebrations, North Korea rolled out what appeared to be new missiles – a brazen display as the country ratchets up its rhetoric against efforts to curb its weapons programs.

The missiles were among one element of a massive, militaristic parade to mark the 1912 birthday of the regime’s founder, Kim Il Sung. Common among the annual holiday are the shows of uniformity and Maoist-inflected ideology that were on display during the Saturday parade, including parcels of tanks and ordnance and goose-stepping processions.

Decked in black, Kim Jong Un, silently watched the ceremonies to commemorate his grandfather in the nation’s capital city, Pyongyang.

This year, however, the holiday also showcased what appeared to be long-range and submarine-based missiles: weapons the country has long been warned against possessing. As NPR’s Rob Schmitz tells our newscast unit:

“Military analysts paid close attention to two new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the backs of trucks – none of which had been displayed before.

“Though analysts questioned what was inside the missile shells, they said the appearance of a submarine-launched ballistic missile shows North Korea is progressing with its plan to launch missiles from anywhere in the sea.”

And on the same day, a top North Korean official offered a warning to the U.S., accusing President Trump of “creating a war situation.”

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SOURCE: NPR, Jason Slotkin