North Korea’s massive military parade showcased an arsenal that should raise eyebrows in the Middle East. It wheeled out its Hwasong-15 ballistic missile and a giant intercontinental ballistic missile that had to be pulled on a transport vehicle with 11 axles. This is a monster and reports call it a “strategic weapon” that appears to threaten the globe.
Years after the Trump administration believed personal diplomacy would make North Korea into a compliant actor, the regime has new weapons. Because Iran is working with North Korea, this could mean Tehran could threaten Israel with similar missiles or shared technology, as it has in the past.
France24 reported that experts said more new weapons were unveiled at this parade than in previous editions. China appeared pleased with President Xi Jinping congratulating Pyongyang on the anniversary.
Many internet sleuths are out there digesting the new photos of the massive missile and the transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) it rode on. Among these are Fabian Hinz and Tal Inbar. The length of these TELs has grown as well, from eight in 2012 to 11 in 2020. Last year it was reported that North Korea was mass-producing ballistic missile transporters and parts for them.
Questions remain about North Korea’s new missile. It is likely the largest road-mobile ICBM in the world and is thought to be liquid-fueled. The consensus is that this missile, if it works, is a threat. The giant TEL is also a threat, apparently, because it shows the capabilities of North Korea in building these transport vehicles. North Korea has been doing a number of tests in recent years. Last August it carried out five tests in several weeks using transporters and shorter range ballistic missiles. Those missiles flew around 400km. In all there were 13 missile tests last year. Harry Kazianis, of The National Interest and an expert on North Korea, noted that the new ICBM that North Korea paraded “seems to be a derivative of what was tested back in late 2017, known as the Hwason-15, is much bigger and clearly more powerful than anything in DPRK’s arsenal.”