North Korea displayed new submarine-launched ballistic missiles under development and other military hardware in a parade that underlined leader Kim Jong Un’s defiant calls to expand the country's nuclear weapons program. State media said Kim took center stage in Thursday night’s parade celebrating a major ruling party meeting in which he vowed maximum efforts to bolster the nuclear and missile program that threatens Asian rivals and the American homeland to counter what he described as US hostility, the AP reports. During an eight-day Worker's Party congress that ended Tuesday, Kim also revealed plans to salvage the nation’s economy, hit by US-led sanctions over his nuclear ambitions, pandemic-related border closures, and natural disasters that wiped out crops.
Kim, wearing a black fur hat and leather trench coat, waved and smiled widely as his troops chanted "Let’s defend Kim Jong Un with our lives!" Flag-waving spectators, unmasked despite a fervent domestic campaign to fend off the coronavirus, cheered as troops rolled out some of the country’s most advanced weapons, including submarine-launched ballistic missiles described by the official Korean Central News Agency as the "world’s most powerful weapon." The new type of submarine-launched missiles is larger than the ones North Korea has previously tested. The North also displayed a variety of solid-fuel weapons designed to be fired from mobile land launchers, which potentially expand its capability to strike targets in South Korea and Japan, including US military bases there. (Read more North Korea stories.)