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north korea weapons

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North Korea has unveiled a new submarine-launched ballistic missile, described by state media as “the world’s most powerful weapon”.

According to state media, several of the missiles were displayed at a parade overseen by leader Kim Jong-un.

The new weapon’s actual capabilities remain unclear, as it is not known to have been tested.

The show of military strength comes days before Joe Biden’s inauguration.

It also follows a rare political meeting where Kim Jong-un decried the US as his country’s “biggest enemy”.

Images released by North Korean state media showed at least four large black-and-white missiles being driven past flag-waving crowds.

Clad in a leather coat and fur hat, Kim Jong-un is pictured smiling and waving as he watched the display in Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung Square, which also included infantry troops, artillery and tanks.

The official Korean Central News Agency said: “The world’s most powerful weapon, submarine-launch ballistic missile, entered the square one after another, powerfully demonstrating the might of the revolutionary armed forces.”

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The event on January 14 did not showcase North Korea’s largest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). That colossal weapon is believed to be able to deliver a nuclear warhead to anywhere in the US, and its size had surprised even seasoned analysts when it was put on show last year.

North Korea’s latest display of its arsenal comes at the end of a five-yearly congress of the ruling Workers’ Party.

In his address to members last week, Kim Jong-un had pledged to expand North Korea’s nuclear weapons and military potential, outlining a list of desired weapons including long-range ballistic missiles capable of being launched from land or sea and “super-large warheads”.

He also said that the US was North Korea’s “biggest obstacle for our revolution and our biggest enemy… no matter who is in power, the true nature of its policy against North Korea will never change”.

Under Kim Jong-un’s leadership North Korea has made rapid progress in its weapons program, which it says is necessary to defend itself against a possible US invasion.

According to experts, the unveiling of the new missiles appears designed to send the incoming Biden administration a message of North Korea’s growing military prowess.


North Korea has been hit with new US sanctions over its alleged weapons proliferation activities.

The US sanctions target the North Korean army’s Strategic Rocket Force, as well as two banks and three shipping companies allegedly involved in arms trade.

The sanctions bar American citizens or companies from engaging in any transactions with the companies.US sanctions North Korea

North Korea already faces sanctions from several other countries and the UN.

The Strategic Rocket Force is accused of performing several missile tests last year, while the shipping companies – linked to other already-sanctioned firms – are accused of transporting illicit arms.

The US Treasury also blacklisted officials of previously sanctioned North Korean Banks.

The sanctions freeze any US assets the blacklisted companies and individuals have. It is not clear how much, if any, they have in the United States.

Five of the individuals added to the blacklist – two in Syria and two in Vietnam – are representatives of the Tanchon Commercial Bank, which is already on the US sanctions list. It performs financial activities for the Korea Mining and Development Trading Corporation, which is responsible for North Korea arms exports.

North Korea’s Foreign Trade Bank also had one representative, based in Russia, added to the sanctions list. The company itself was also already covered by US sanctions.