A US official said Sunday it was “disappointing” that North Korea had displayed a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at a military parade in Pyongyang, as denuclearisation negotiations between the two countries remain deadlocked.
Leader Kim Jong Un watched the huge ICBM roll through Pyongyang at the climax of an unprecedented night-time parade on Saturday, weeks before the US election.
“It is disappointing to see the DPRK (North Korea) continuing to prioritise its prohibited nuclear and ballistic missile program,” a US official said.
“The United States remains guided by the vision President Trump and Chairman Kim set forth in Singapore (in 2018) and calls on the DPRK to engage in sustained and substantive negotiations to achieve complete denuclearisation.”
Analysts said that it was the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled missile anywhere in the world, and was likely to be designed to carry multiple warheads in independent re-entry vehicles (MIRVs).
The ICBM was proof that the North had continued to develop its arsenal throughout the diplomatic process, analysts said, and could give Pyongyang greater heft to demand a return to the negotiating table.
The missile — which may have been a mock-up — was carried on an enormous and previously unseen 11-axle transporter-erector-launcher, far larger than the eight-axle Chinese-made vehicles the North has employed so far.
A day after the unveiling, South Korea also urged North Korea to abide by the agreements that bars armed clashes between them, after leader Kim Jong Un vowed to continue building his military might.
[Sourced from Agencies]