North Korea paraded ICBMs in a show of force on the eve of South Korea's Olympics
- North Korea defied the world by holding a massive parade and show of force with nuclear-capable ICBMs despite being under the toughest sanctions ever.
- Kim Jong Un gave a speech warning against invasion as he dispatches his sister to South Korea during the Olympics.
- North Korea showed off a decent number of several missiles, two of which can hit the US, likely with nuclear bombs.
North Korea's parade on Thursday, the eve of South Korea's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, rolled out a long convoy of missile trucks and paraded them through Pyongyang.
Kim Jong Un gave a speech where he appears to have made boiler-plate remarks commemorating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People's Army, and warning off its enemies.
"At a time like this when the US and its followers are making such a fuss around the Korean peninsula, our military should remain on high alert and step up preparations for fight, so that invaders cannot violate.. the dignity... of our sacred nation even by 0.001" millimeter, Kim Jong Un said, according to AFP's Seoul correspondent, Hawon Jung.
Kim's sister will attend the Olympics in Pyeongchang, where she will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae In, but that was not discussed.
Vice President Mike Pence will also attend the games, but North Korea has said it has no intentions to meet with him. The focus of this parade was clearly on North Korea's fighting strength, and not efforts for peace.
As soon as images of missiles appeared in Pyongyang, analysts got to work. Three types of missile piqued their interest: six mid-range Hwasong-12 missiles; three Hwasong-14s, North Korea's first intercontinental ballistic missile; and four Hwasong-15s, the most recently tested missile which experts say can strike anywhere in the US.
The parade paled in comparison to April 2017's, when North Korea displayed more missiles and a wider range of variations, but featured an increased emphasis on long-range missiles that can hit the US and its territories.
As it stands, North Korea has threatened to fire Hwasong-12 missiles at the US military in Guam, and to test a nuclear bomb over the Pacific with a long-range missile.
Either one of these tests could swiftly lead to US retaliation and a larger war.
Nonetheless, North Korea's successful military parade quelled rumors that sanctions had begun to bite, or that Pyongyang's spirit had been crushed by President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign.
Although fuel prices have doubled since last year in North Korea, which may have been responsible for a reduction in military exercises earlier this year, the Kim regime found the resources to put the show on.
See highlights of the parade below:
So far, one missile truck has puzzled analysts above all:
- How a US military parade would compare to North Korea's, Russia's, or China's
- North Korea says Trump has a 'dirty body' and 'nasty smell' in childish defense of its horrific human rights record
- Former US intelligence chief says the US military has backed down North Korea before, and can do it again