Leader Kim Jong Un watched the ICBM roll over Kim Il Sung Square, named after his grandfather, at the height of an unprecedented night parade in Pyongyang on Saturday.
Analysts agreed that it is the world’s largest liquid-fueled street-mobile missile and most likely can carry multiple warheads in independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).
Jeffrey Lewis of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies said it was “clearly designed to overwhelm the US missile defense system in Alaska”.
If the ICBM carried three or four warheads, the US would have to spend around $ 12 billion on 12-16 interceptors to defend against each missile.
“At that price, I’m pretty sure North Korea can add warheads faster than we can interceptors.”
The rocket was estimated to be 24 meters long and 2.5 meters in diameter, which, according to specialist Markus Schiller, was large enough to transport 100 tons of fuel, which would take hours to load.
It was so big and heavy that it was practically useless, he added, “You can’t move this thing with fuel, and you can’t fill it up at the launch site.
“This thing doesn’t make any sense at all, except for threat equation games like sending the message ‘We now have a mobile ICBM with MIRVs, be very scared’.”
North Korea watchers periodically warn that the devices Pyongyang displays at its parades may be models or models and there is no evidence that they will work until tested.
However, the rocket was carried on a huge and previously invisible 11-axis transporter erector rocket, which was far larger than the eight-axis Chinese vehicles that the north has previously used.
“The truck is possibly a more scary story than the missile,” said Melissa Hanham of the Open Nuclear Network.
“If the DPRK produces their own chassis locally, the number of ICBMs they can start is less limited.”
Just before its inauguration in 2017, Donald Trump tweeted that North Korea is developing a weapon that can reach parts of the US, “won’t happen!”
He spent the first year of his presidency – during which the North launched an ICBM with the reach to do just that – in an escalating war of words with Kim before an extraordinary diplomatic relationship developed between them.
But the nuclear negotiations have been stalled since the collapse of their Hanoi summit earlier last year because of sanctions easing and what the North would be willing to give up in return.
The ICBM was evidence that the North had continued to develop its arsenal throughout the diplomatic process, analysts said, and gave Pyongyang more strength to demand a return to the negotiating table.
“Like it or not, North Korea is a nuclear power and is probably the third nuclear power to beat American cities, the third after Russia and China,” Andrei Lankov of the Korea Risk Group told AFP.
Mr. Kim sent a message to the US that the capabilities of the North are improving and that “if you don’t want to get a deal now, sometime later you will have to make a deal that will be worse for you, the international community”. he added.
More than 12 hours after the parade ended, which aired on North Korean state television, Mr Trump hadn’t tweeted about it – and neither had his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Mr Trump made much of Mr Kim’s promise not to conduct any further ICBM or nuclear tests, and Shin Beom-chul of the Korea Research Institute for National Strategy said Pyongyang stopped before the missile crossed instead of launching its red lines .
“But it also signals that North Korea could make a start if Trump is re-elected, and ignores the North Korean question,” he said, adding, “If Biden is elected and he doesn’t listen to North Korea, it will carry a start.” Out. ”
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