North Korea will celebrate the 110th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung today, the country’s founding father and leader Kim Jong-un’s grandfather.
Satellite imagery of a military parade training base suggests that over 10,000 soldiers are expected to march through Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang during a nighttime military parade marking the late leader’s birthday.
Similar to past military parades, Kim Jong-un is likely to reveal new weapons systems as part of his nuclear weapons program. Kim Jong-un is highly focused on the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and tested its largest known ICBM the Hwasong-17 last month after breaking his own self-imposed moratorium on ICBM testing.
Today’s military parade represents another show of force by North Korea. As the war in Ukraine enters its 10th week, the deterrent effect of nuclear weapons has become more apparent. Kim Jong-un will continue to direct resources towards nuclear weapons development as a sure-fire way to protect the Kim regime. However, although the North claims to have successfully tested the Hwasong-17, its trajectory has not been confirmed to pass that of previous ICBMs. Therefore, any display of improved weapons systems today will likely be untested models or mere re-designs of older warheads.
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Sabrine is an Analyst for Foreign Brief and a graduate student at Yonsei University in South Korea, specializing in foreign policy and security in East Asia. Previously, she contributed as a freelance writer for online publications and worked as a sub-editor for the Daily NK.