Thread. Initial thoughts on North Korean parade.
North Korea’s military parade was demonstrative, not provocative
During a massive military parade, Pyongyang displayed a tremendous number of military systems, most notably a new ICBM. (1/)
However, Kim Jong-un’s speech was not threatening to the United States, instead labeling North Korea's nuclear forces as self-defensive. The clear message was that, counter to U.S. claims, the North Korean nuclear threat has not been solved. (2/)
Nor did the regime do a submarine-launched ballistic missile launch. While it would have been yet another violation of UN resolutions, the US downplayed a similar event last year.
North Korea can already target all of the continental U.S. with a nuclear ICBM. (3/)
The new missile, perhaps the world’s largest road-mobile ICBM, would enable carrying multiple nuclear warheads or penetration aids to overcome ballistic missile defenses.
The regime also demonstrated it has the ability to indigenously produce ICBM transporters which would allow dispersing a larger ICBM force to the field. North Korea had previously been constrained to six converted large trucks imported from China. (5/)
Although only two of the new 11 axle vehicles were seen, it is a worrying development.
Regardless of who is elected U.S. president, we can expect North Korea to test launch the new ICBM early in 2021. (6/)
Pyongyang has historically ramped up tensions early in a U.S. or South Korean administration to, as one North Korea defector told me, “train them like a dog” and induce concessions. (7/7)
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