North Korea unveiled ‘the world’s most powerful weapon’, a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile.
The military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong-un on Thursday was a show of military strength comes days before the inauguration of Joe Biden as US president.
North Korean analysts noted it was a previously unseen weapon.
“New year, new Pukguksong,” tweeted North Korea expert Ankit Panda, using the North Korean name for their submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
“The world’s most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missile, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces,” the official Korean Central News Agency said.
The unveil came days after a rare political meeting of of the ruling Workers’ Party where Mr Kim decried the US as his country’s “biggest enemy”.
In his address to members last week, Mr Kim had pledged to expand North Korea’s nuclear weapons and military potential, outlining a list of desired weapons including long-range ballistic missiles capable of being launched from land or sea and “super-large warheads”.
He also said that the US was Pyongyang’s “biggest obstacle for our revolution and our biggest enemy… no matter who is in power, the true nature of its policy against North Korea will never change”.
Under Mr Kim’s leadership North Korea has made rapid progress in its weapons programme, which it says is necessary to defend itself against a possible US invasion.
Over the last four years, Pyongyang has had an erratic relationship with the US under President Donald Trump’s administration. Mr Kim and Mr Trump engaged in mutual insults and threats of war before an unprecedented summit in Singapore in 2018 and declarations of love by the outgoing US leader.
Despite the apparent warming of relations, little concrete progress was made on negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear programme and a second summit in Hanoi in 2019 broke down after the US refused Pyongyang’s demands to lift sanctions.