North Korea displayed new types of ballistic missiles, including what appears to be an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) carried on trucks with 11 wheels at its first night military parade on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea.
Leader Kim Jong Un pledged at a party meeting last December to unveil a "new strategic weapon" to be possessed by the nation "in the near future."
"We will continue to strengthen war deterrence for self-defense to deter, control and manage all dangerous attempts and threatening acts, including ever-growing nuclear threats, from hostile forces," Kim, clad in a light-gray suit said in a speech broadcast on state media.
Kim observed the parade from a balcony overlooking Kim Il Sung Square, the central Pyongyang area named after his grandfather and North Korea's founder, images shown on NK state TV revealed.
North Korea is believed to have three types of ICBMs -- the Hwasong-13, Hwasong-14 and Hwasong-15, and it has sought to develop a multiple-warhead ICBM that can fly further and is harder to intercept.
The Hwasong-15, which is the most advanced version so far, has an estimated range of 12,874 kilometers and is capable of striking any part of the continental US. The type was last test-launched on Nov. 29, 2017. The North Korean leader promised to strengthen nuclear war deterrence. Kim, however, made no mention of relations with the United States in the speech.
Held before dawn, the parade appears to have caught rival South Korea and western national off-guard. North Korea did not announce that it would hold a military parade on the anniversary, but the Foreign Ministry urged diplomats and international organization workers to keep away from the celebration venue, according to Russia's Embassy in Pyongyang.