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(LEAD) N. Korea displays new submarine-launched ballistic missile during parade

All News 08:42 January 15, 2021

(ATTN: ADDS more details about new ballistic missile, absence of ICBM during parade in last 7 paras, photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea appears to have showcased a new type of submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) during a recent military parade held in Pyongyang, experts said Friday.

The parade took place on Thursday night at Kim Il-sung Square after Pyongyang wrapped up its eight-day congress of the ruling Workers' Party on Tuesday, at which leader Kim Jong-un pledged to bolster its nuclear arsenal.

According to photos released by the North's Korean Central Korean News Agency (KCNA), the North rolled out an SLBM, which it presumably labeled as the Pukguksong-5ㅅ, along with various solid-fuel ballistic missiles and other weaponry.

State media called the SLBM "the world's most powerful weapon."

Ankit Panda, a researcher and nonproliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment on International Peace, tweeted that "there's a new SLBM."

South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) simply said it is analyzing military items displayed during the parade.

During the military parade held in October last year, North Korea unveiled a new SLBM, dubbed the Pukguksong-4ㅅ.

North Korea was known to have three types of Pukguksong missiles, and Pukguksong-2 is a ground-based one, not an SLBM.

As the upgraded version of the Pukguksong-1, the Pukguksong-3 SLBM is believed to have a flight range of 2,000 kilometers or longer, and the regime last carried out a flight test of the weapon in October 2019.

This photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency on Jan. 15, 2021, shows submarine-launched ballistic missiles displayed during a military parade held in Pyongyang the previous day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The expert also said the North displayed a new solid-fuel short-range ballistic missile.

"It resembles a KN24, but on a KN23-style TEL," Panda tweeted.

KN-24 refers to its version of the U.S. Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS), a ground-based missile that was first revealed in 2019 and has been tested three times so far. The missile, codenamed KN-23, is the North's version of Russia's Iskander ballistic missile.

But the North stopped short of displaying intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) during the parade -- in an apparent message to the United States ahead of next week's launch of a new government in Washington.

During the October event, the North showed off a new ICBM on an 11-axle transporter erector launcher (TEL), which is believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.

But it is not known yet if the new ICBM is the upgraded version of the Hwasong-15 or Hwasong-16, with military sources and experts saying the weapon looks like a mock-up and has not been tested.

According to the U.S. Forces Korea, the regime has three types of ICBM: the Hwasong-13, which can fly as far as 5,500 km; the Hwasong-14 missile with an estimated range of 10,058 km, which is capable of reaching most of the continental U.S.; and the Hwasong-15 with an estimated range of 8,000 miles, or 12,874 kilometers, which is capable of striking any part of the U.S. mainland.

Shown in this image captured from Korean Central Television footage on Oct. 10, 2020, is North Korea's new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which was displayed during a military parade held in Pyongyang to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers' Party. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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