KIM Jong-un has showcased deadly hypersonic missiles that are feared to be able to strike US bases in MINUTES as he vowed to build North Korea’s nuclear arsenal at its “fastest pace”.
The tyrant threatened to use his nuclear forces if provoked as he delivered a speed during a huge military parade that featured the state’s most powerful weapons systems.
It comes as Pyongyang has stepped up weapons tests and displays of military power amid stalled denuclearisation talks with the United States and an incoming conservative administration in South Korea.
US and South Korean officials say there are signs of new construction at North Korea‘s only nuke test site – which has been officially shuttered since 2018.
“The nuclear forces of our Republic should be fully prepared to fulfil their responsible mission and put their unique deterrent in motion at any time,” Kim told the parade, according to state news agency KCNA.
The fundamental mission of the North’s nuclear force is to “deter war”, but its use “can never be confined to the single mission,” he added.
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“If any forces try to violate the fundamental interests of our state, our nuclear forces will have to decisively accomplish its unexpected second mission,” Kim said.
The parade Monday night was to mark the 90th anniversary of North Korea’s army – the backbone of the Kim family’s authoritarian rule -and comes as the country faces an economy battered by pandemic-related difficulties, punishing US-led sanctions and its own mismanagement.
State media photos showed Kim, dressed in a white military ceremonial coat, smiling and waving from a balcony along with his wife Ri Sol Ju and other top deputies.
One of the weapons showcased at the brightly illuminated Kim Il Sung Square, named after Kim’s late grandfather and state founder, was North Korea’s biggest, newly built intercontinental ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17.
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North Korea claimed to have test-fired that missile last month in its first full-range ICBM liftoff in more than four years – releasing a Top Gun-inspired propaganda clip of the blast.
But South Korea disputed that, saying North Korea launched a smaller, existing Hwasong-15 ICBM following a failed launch of the Hwasong-17.
Analysts have speculated that the Hwasong-17 -dubbed a “monster missile” – is designed to carry multiple warheads and decoys to better penetrate missile defences.
The procession also included rows of conventional weapons such as artillery, rocket launchers, and prototype tanks, plus tens of thousands of goose-stepping troops shouting “long life” to Kim Jong-un.
North Korea’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programmes are banned by United Nations Security Council resolutions, which have imposed sanctions on the country.
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North Korea has conducted 13 rounds of weapons tests this year, including its claimed launch of the Hwasong-17.
There are also signs North Korea is rebuilding tunnels at a nuclear testing ground that was last active in 2017, possibly in preparation for exploding a nuclear device.
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