North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared Saturday that his country was ready to stand up to any threat posed by the United States as he spoke at a lavish military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the North's ruling party and trumpet his third-generation leadership. The parade, which featured thousands of goose-stepping soldiers and military hardware including missiles and drones mounted on trucks, kicked off what is expected to be one of the North's biggest celebrations ever—an attention-getting event that is the government's way of showing the world and its own people that the Kim dynasty is firmly in control and its military a power to be reckoned with. "Our revolutionary force is ready to respond to any kind of war the American imperialists want," said Kim
In the parade that followed Kim's speech, tanks, armored vehicles, rocket launchers, and a variety of missiles mounted on trucks rolled by, while military planes flew in formation above the square, forming the symbol of the Workers' Party of Korea—a hammer, brush, and sickle. Another group of planes formed the number 70 in the sky. An expert at the Korea Institute for Defense Analysis, a security think-tank in Seoul, says North Korea revealed a new 300-millimeter rocket launcher and drones, as well as a KN-08 ballistic missile, with an estimated range of 6,200 miles, that it had previously shown off in 2012. The analyst says the presence of a visiting Chinese official might have prevented the North from revealing its most provocative weapons.