North Korea’s military parade showed off seven ICBMs
that can carry nuclear weapons to the continental US.
North Korea has made brisk progress in producing
missiles that pose a threat to the US, though the missiles it
used may have been props.
But props or not, North Korea has broadcast loud and
clear that it now has many missiles that can strike the
North Korea’s military parade on Thursday rolled out seven
intercontinental ballistic missiles that experts assess can
strike the US — and it’s more than the country has ever shown
Before the crowd in Pyongyang, where below freezing temperatures
reddened the spectators’ faces, North Korea put on its usual
display of military might with rows of troops and tanks, but also
showed off two new inventions: the Hwasong-14 and the Hwasong-15.
The missiles were both tested in 2017 and have demonstrated they
have the range to strike the US mainland. North Korea has used
both missiles to threaten US citizens.
The Hwasong-14, a smaller missile, was first tested on July 4,
2017 to the surprise of North Korea experts, some of whom thought
that an ICBM capability would continue to elude North Korea for
years. North Korea tested it again on July 28, when it flew over
2,300 miles above the Earth before crashing down 620 miles away
in the Sea of Japan.
Experts assessed that even though the missile fit the definition
of an ICBM by flying more than 5,500 kilometers, it still
probably couldn’t haul a heavy nuclear warhead to important US
cities like Washington DC or New York City.
But at the end of November 2017, North Korea again shocked
critics by testing an entirely new, as of yet unseen design — the
The massive missile flew almost 2,800 miles above earth before
crashing into the Sea of Japan. This time, experts
were nearly unanimous. The larger warhead, with its larger
nosecone, resembled the US’s Trident missile, the most powerful
warhead the US ever deployed.
The consensus among analysts is that North Korea’s Hwasong-15
ICBM can strike anywhere within the US with a heavy nuclear
warhead, or multiple nuclear warheads.
But though the missile has the reach, it may not have the
durability. North Korea has never tested an ICBM at full range,
and therefore has not demonstrated its ability to build a warhead
that can survive reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere, let alone
its ability to guide such a missile.
On Wednesday, a US envoy to North Korea said the country could
likely master the technology needed to deliver a nuclear blast on
Washington DC in only months.
North Korea, a paranoid country bent on regime survival as it
defies international law, most likely would not display all its
missiles at once, for fear that the US would bomb the parade.
Additionally, the missiles shown in the parade may not be
operational, or have been faked by propaganda purposes.
Exactly how many missiles it has in its arsenal is unknown, but
North Korea has now told the world it has multiple missiles it
can strike the US with.