On the night of April 25, a grand military parade was held in Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, the capital city of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in celebration of the 90th founding anniversary of the Korean People’s Revolutionary Army, causing a great sensation in the world.
Every aspect of the parade, which started with the spectacular parachuting by the airborne troopers, was impressive–characteristic ceremonial performance by the combined military band, magnificent entrance to the square by the parade columns, dazzling effect of illumination, sublime music played by the large parade orchestra, columns of the elite units marching across the square in fine array and the breath-taking stunts by the plane squadrons buzzing and zooming, while setting off fireworks.
What was particularly spectacular was weapons of the latest models. Through the parade the world realized once again how remarkably the country’s defence capability had developed.
The progressive and modern character of the military hardware was the focus of attention.
Different kinds of small arms and kits of the paraders, new-type tanks considered to be leading tanks of the Korean People’s Army, self-propelled gun howitzers, super-large MLRS which the country boasts as a weapon of absolute power, the first of its kind in the world, anti-armour weapons, electronic weaponry and reconnaissance means of various kinds, tactical missiles of the latest versions, Pukkuksong-series submarine-launched and ground-based ballistic missiles and Hwasongpho-series IRBM and ICBM and anti-aircraft missile systems–all were on the world-class level.
In particular, the awe-inspiring ICBM Hwasongpho-17 carried on an 11-axle transporter-lifter-launcher gave a glimpse of the modern character and striking power of the strategic armed forces of the DPRK. The missile had made its debut in the military parade held in October 2020 in celebration of the 75th founding anniversary of the country’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and successfully test-fired in March this year, fully demonstrating its power.
The speed of the upgrading of military hardware was also surprising.
All the pieces of military hardware that appeared in the parade have been recently developed by the country. Everyone can notice how fast they have been upgraded.
As the world witnessed, the country succeeded in test-firing the ground-to-ground intermediate-range strategic ballistic missile Hwasong-10 in June 2016, and in May 2017 successfully test-fired the ground-to-ground intermediate-range strategic ballistic missile Hwasong-12, whose tactical and technical specifications and technical characteristics were radically improved. It test-fired with success the new-type ICBM Hwasong-14 in less than two months and successfully launched Hwasong-14 for the simulation of its maximum range about 20 days later. Again in November 2017, it succeeded in test-firing the new-type ICBM Hwasongpho-15 far superior to Hwasong-14 and capable of carrying an extra-large, heavy nuclear warhead.
It proceeded to test-fire a tactical guided missile of a new type in March last year, newly-developed long-range cruise missile, hypersonic missile Hwasong-8 and anti-aircraft missile in September, and new-type SLBM in October, which clearly indicated the upgrading speed of strategic weapons of various kinds.
In January this year, it continuously test-fired with success hypersonic missiles in less than a week and successfully test-fired Hwasongpho-17, another powerful means of nuclear strike, in March.
The world watches with wonder the prospect of development of the cutting-edge weapons of the country.
The Eighth Congress of the Workers’ Party of Korea held in January last year set forth the core plan and major strategic tasks for developing defence science and munitions industry during the five-year plan period.
The tasks included raising the nuclear technology to a higher level, making nuclear weapons smaller and lighter for more tactical use and developing tactical nuclear weapons of various kinds, continuously promoting the production of super-sized nuclear warheads, attaining an advanced capability for launching pre-emptive and retaliatory nuclear strikes by further raising the level of precision, to the point that a strategic target within a range of 15 000 kilometres can be hit and destroyed with pinpoint accuracy, developing and introducing hypersonic gliding flight warhead at an early date, building nuclear submarine and underwater-launch nuclear strategic weapon, securing a reconnaissance and information-gathering capability based on the operation of military reconnaissance satellite in the near future and developing reconnaissance drones and other means of reconnaissance capable of precisely reconnoitring over distances up to 500 kilometres, rapidly developing the Korean People’s Army from an army of a conventional type into an elite hi-tech force, regarding it as the priority target for the munitions industry to make military equipment intelligent, precise, unmanned, high-performance and light and orienting research and development to this end.
The world’s prestigious analysts are of opinion that the country’s sector of national defence will unfailingly carry out these strategic tasks on a higher level and at a faster speed.
In his speech delivered at the above-mentioned military parade Marshal Kim Jong Un, Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the DPRK, declared: In the era we are living in now, we should continue to exalt the glory of the powerful army and change to be more powerful at a fast speed incomparable with the past 90 years; there is no satisfaction or accomplishment in cultivating strength for defending ourselves, and, whoever we confront, our military supremacy should be more secure; the nuclear forces of our Republic should be fully prepared to fulfil their responsible mission and put their unique deterrent in motion at any time.