Kim Jong Un parades with new drones and missiles

Kim Jong Un oversees a military parade in North Korea, showcasing new nuclear-capable drones and intercontinental ballistic missiles, on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in the korean waraccording to state media on Friday.

“Newly developed and produced strategic unmanned reconnaissance aircraft and multi-role attack drones… flew in demonstrations while circling in the sky above the square,” Kim Il Sung, the Korean Central News Agency said. Central News Agency.

The high-ranking Russian and Chinese delegations in the gallery

“The public’s enthusiasm and delight was at its height” when North Korea’s newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the solid-fuel powered Hwasong-18, tested in April and July this year, paraded through the place, the official KCNA agency said.

High-ranking Russian and Chinese delegations, visiting Pyongyang, attended the festivities. They were the North Korean leader’s first known foreign guests since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The celebrations mark the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, which ended the fighting and is celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’.

The two Koreas still officially at war

Since the war of 1950-1953, concluded by an armistice in the absence of a peace treaty, the two Koreas are still officially at war. Kim “sent a warm battle salute” during the parade, but did not deliver a speech, according to reports by KCNA. Satellite images confirmed that North Korea held a large-scale military parade for Thursday’s anniversary.

KCNA said the parade “demonstrated to the whole world the unyielding will of all soldiers and people to create a new legend of victory in the Kim Jong-un era.”

According to Yangmo Ku, professor of political science at Norwich University, in the United States, the parade is an important engine to “promote the legitimacy of Kim Jong Un’s rule and internal unity in this economically difficult period”, said told AFP.

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“New Cold War”

But this year, with the presence of high-ranking guests from Russia and China, Pyongyang appears to be trying “to send a signal to the United States and its allies that, through strengthened ties with Russia and China, North Korea is militarily ready to face the strategic threats of its enemies”.

“All these events indicate the emergence of a new cold war around the Korean peninsula,” added Yangmo Ku, who called on Washington, Seoul and Tokyo to take measures to ease the growing tensions on the peninsula.

China, North Korea’s main ally and economic supporter, and Russia, another historical ally, are among the few nations with which Pyongyang maintains friendly relations.

The visit of Sergei Shoigu, Russian Defense Minister, is all the more remarkable as his predecessors had not visited Pyongyang on a regular basis since the collapse of the USSR, experts told AFP. The North Korean leader supports the invasion of Ukraine by Moscow, in particular by providing rockets and missiles, according to Washington, which Pyongyang denies.

Japan worried

In its latest defense “white paper” released on Friday, Japan’s Defense Ministry listed Pyongyang as a major concern for Japan.

“North Korea’s military activities pose an even more serious and imminent threat to Japan’s national security than ever before,” the white paper said.

“It is assumed that North Korea has the capability to attack Japan with nuclear weapons mounted on ballistic missiles,” the report added.

The document is also largely devoted to China’s growing military power and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

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