N.Korea Shows off New Weapons at Defense Expo

  • By Yu Yong-weon, Lee Yong-soo

    October 13, 2021 09:07

    The North Korean regime mounted an armaments expo to mark the 76th anniversary of the Workers Party this week, displaying several new weapons that have been developed over the past five years.

    They include super-large multiple rocket launchers targeting South Korea and three kinds of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

    In an opening speech on Monday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un himself called it "a show of national strength." "For our descendants we need to be strong."

    He accused South Korea of its developing and buying weapons in an "attempt for arms modernization that goes beyond bounds," according to state media.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (center) enjoys a beer with officials at an arms expo marking the 76th anniversary of the Workers Party in Pyongyang on Monday, in this grab from [North] Korean Central Television.

    Images published in the state media show short-range weapons such as a KN-23 Iskander ballistic missile and a 600 mm super-large MRL on one side of the hall and medium- and long-range weapons that could strike Japan, Guam and even the U.S. mainland such as a series of ICBMs including the Hwasong-8 hypersonic missile on the other.

    One new mini-submarine-launched ballistic missile that was unveiled at the expo seems to have been remodeled from the KN-23. The Hwasong-8 that was test-launched on Sept. 28 looks remarkably similar to China's DF-17 "aircraft carrier-killer" missile.

    But he insisted the North has no particular enemy like South Korea or the U.S. in its sights but the enemy "is war itself."

    "I say once again that South Korea isn't the one that our military forces have to fight against," he said. "Surely, we aren't strengthening our defense capability because of South Korea. We shouldn't repeat a horrible history of compatriots using force against each other."

    The U.S. too "has frequently signaled it's not hostile to our state, but there is no action-based evidence to make us believe that they are not hostile," he added.

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