North Korea’s Military Parade: What We Didn’t See

April 25, 2017
David Schmerler

This article originally appeared on CNN on April 17, 2017.

North Korean Flag
Source: Flickr

If North Korean leader Kim Jong Un hoped the successful launch of a missile Sunday would be a powerful footnote to Saturday’s military parade, he would have been sorely disappointed.

The missile blew up almost immediately, providing observers with few clues as to what the regime was attempting to achieve with the launch, beyond a show of force. Saturday’s parade to mark the “Day of the Sun” was different, however.


In previous events, North Korea has paraded Scuds and Nodongs (short-to-medium-range, liquid-fueled missiles), which make up the backbone of its ballistic-missile fleet.

This year, excluding the liquid-fueled missiles on tracked vehicles, those older systems were missing. Their absence possibly indicates a shift of focus to missile types that extend beyond the much older Soviet-based systems what we had seen up till now. Finally, the addition of a new missile on the Musudan’s transporter, and the two new launch canisters for yet unidentified missile systems, raise questions about the size and scope of North Korea’s ICBM ambition.

As for what is next, it is hard to know for certain.

Continue to read on CNN.

Comments Are Closed