North Korea parades new Hwasong-15 ICBM in Pyongyang

The North Korean military showed off its newest ICBM, the Hwasong-15, during a military parade on Pyongyang Thursday, one day ahead of the start of the Winter Olympics in neighboring South Korea.

Reports said that the military paraded at least four launchers with missiles, all of which were painted black. Hwasong-14 missiles and launchers were also paraded through the streets.

The Hwasong-15 is believed to have a range of at least 13,000 km (~8,100 miles) and, theoretically, can reach all of the United States. The Hwasong-14 may have a range of about 10,000 km (~6,200 miles).

Leader Kim Jong-un reportedly viewed the parade, which also involved about 13,000 troops. [source]

Analysis: It’s believed that sanctions are really beginning to hurt North Korea, given reports that Pyongyang is receiving shipments of oil, fuel, and other goods via ship-to-ship transfers taking place in international waters. So this smallish parade — the first since the country’s 70th anniversary of the founding of the Korean People’s Army in April — is more likely meant to give the impression that Kim can still must formidable firepower if need be. With Kim, the perception by the outside world that his country remains strong is part of his methods of deterrence. — JD

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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