North Korea’s Nighttime Military Parade Showcases More ICBMs Than Ever Before

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Alyssa Blakemore Contributor
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A nuclear North Korea showed off a record number of intercontinental ballistic missiles during a Wednesday night parade, according to state media.

The event marked the 75th anniversary of the army’s founding and prominently featured 10 to 12 Hwasong-17 missiles, according to state images cited by Politico and Stars and Stripes. The Hwasong-17 is the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled ICBM in the world, Reuters previously reported. North Korea claimed a test fire of the “monster missile” last November, prompting Japanese officials to estimate a range within strike distance of the United States, according to the outlet.

The alarming number of missiles could be enough to overwhelm US missile defenses, according to one analyst. “This is cumulatively more ICBM launchers than we’ve ever seen before at a North Korean parade,” Ankit Panda of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said in a tweet. (RELATED: North Korea Claims It Test Fired Missiles Capable Of Carrying Nuclear Warheads)

Pre-parade photos released by state media showed Kim Jong Un flanked by military commanders, the BBC reported. The dictator’s wife, Ri Sol Ju, was also pictured sporting a necklace with a Hwasong-17 shaped pendant.

Pyongyang has yet to demonstrate the warhead’s ability to survive atmospheric reentry, but the proud military display still sends a message, Politico noted. “The message Pyongyang wants to send internationally, demonstrating its capabilities to deter and coerce, will likely come in the form of solid-fuel missile tests and detonation of a miniaturised nuclear device,” Reuters quoted Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul.