The satellite images show North Korea holding a large nighttime military parade with apparent ballistic missile launchers.
Hong Kong CNN  — 

North Korea showcased almost a dozen advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles at a nighttime military parade on Wednesday, in the biggest display yet of what its state-run media described as Pyongyang’s “nuclear attack capability.”

The missiles were paraded through Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung square as leader Kim Jong Un, accompanied by his wife, and a young girl believed to be his daughter looked on.

This picture taken on October 19, 2021 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 20, 2021 shows test fire of a new type submarine-launched ballistic missile in an undisclosed location in North Korea. (Photo by various sources / AFP) / South Korea OUT / ---EDITORS NOTE--- RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO/KCNA VIA KNS" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS / THIS PICTURE WAS MADE AVAILABLE BY A THIRD PARTY. AFP CAN NOT INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, LOCATION, DATE AND CONTENT OF THIS IMAGE --- /  (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
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02:53 - Source: CNN

The widely anticipated event, which marked the founding anniversary of the North Korean army, comes less than two months after Kim called for an “exponential increase” in his country’s nuclear arsenal in response to what he claims are threats from South Korea and the United States.

Last year saw North Korea test more missiles than at any time in its history, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that could in theory strike the US mainland.

North Korean intercontinental ballistic missiles move past leader Kim Jong Un in a reviewing stand during Wednesday night's military parade in Pyongyang.

That missile, the Hwasong-17, is what analysts said was showcased on Wednesday night.

“It looks like 10-12 Hwasong-17 ICBMs made an appearance. This is cumulatively more ICBM launchers than we’ve ever seen before at a North Korean parade,” Ankit Panda, a nuclear policy expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said on social media.

Panda said if each missile were equipped with multiple nuclear warheads, they could represent enough volume to overwhelm US ballistic missile defenses.

The unprecedented display appears to show Kim is following through on his pledge to equip the country with a nuclear arsenal that can threaten the US.

Besides the Hwasong-17, analysts said North Korea showed off what could be a mockup of a new solid-fueled ICBM, which, if it were to become operational, would give Pyongyang a more mobile and harder to detect nuclear missile.

Solid-fueled rockets are more stable than the liquid-fueled ones like the Hwasong-17. That means a solid-fueled ICBM could be moved more easily and launched more quickly than a liquid-fueled one.

North Korea said in December it had successfully tested a solid-fueled rocket motor.