Everyone loves a good parade, North Korea included. And the military parade in Pyongyang on October 10 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea did not disappoint. It included intricate troop formations, an array of military equipment, lights, cameras, drones, and even fireworks. And the middle-of-the-night setting created the perfect dramatic backdrop for Kim Jong Un to show off shiny new things as symbols of the country’s strength and perseverance despite the hardships of 2020.
And show off he did, making good on his earlier promise to reveal a “new strategic weapon.” The stars of the parade were a new larger intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a new submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM). While the reveal may not have happened as “soon” as his original statement last December might have suggested, it certainly was done with flair and stole international headlines, as the world scrambled to assess what to make of these two new missiles.