North Korea Displays Possible New Missile at Military Parade

    North Korea Displays Possible New Missile at Military Parade
    Last updated Feb 09, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via ABC News Australia]


    • North Korea displayed as many as 11 new Hwasong-17 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) during a night-time parade in Pyongyang on Wednesday, state media reported. The new ICBMs have the potential of reaching the continental United States.[1]
    • North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, presided over the parade — accompanied by his young daughter, Kim Ju Ae — as it marked the 75th founding anniversary of the country's army and emphasized its ability to face down its enemies "nuke for nuke, confrontation for confrontation," as characterized by official state media.[2]
    • North Korea has continued to develop its ballistic missile program despite UN Security Council resolutions and sanctions. Last year Pyongyang test-launched dozens of advanced missiles.[3]
    • Experts speculate that some of North Korea's ICBMs may be mockups, while others could be solid-fuel rockets. According to nuclear policy expert Ankit Panda, solid-fuel rockets are more responsive than their liquid-fuel counterparts and can be launched more quickly, making them more difficult to spot with satellites.[4]
    • The North Korean parade showcased more intercontinental ballistic missiles than ever before. The ICBMs could reportedly represent enough volume to overwhelm US ballistic missile defenses if each missile were equipped with multiple nuclear warheads.[5]


    Narrative A

    Pyongyang is sending a message to the world that it has nuclear capabilities to deter and coerce. This was evident in Wednesday night's military parade, which featured ICBMs capable of striking the US mainland, as well as a variety of other nuclear-capable weapons. The new ICBMs support North Korea's policy of power-to-power, all-out confrontation against its enemies.

    Narrative B

    This show of force is actually about Kim Jong Un ensuring the continuity of his family's dynasty. Kim's daughter was prominent in the parade, which telegraphs an intention to maintain the survivability of his family's command of the nation if conflict were to occur.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 33% chance that there will be at least one fatality from an offensive nuclear detonation in North Korea by 2050, if there's an offensive detonation anywhere, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Articles on this story

    Sign up to our newsletter!