North Korea Displays Possible New Missile at Military Parade

    Photo: Reuters [via ABC News Australia]

    The Facts

    • 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.

    • 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.

    The Spin

    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.

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