North Korea will unveil a brand-new “strategic weapon” at a landmark military parade, marking the 75th anniversary of the country’s founding party. The secretive weapon is thought to be a “game-changing” missile with multiple warhead capabilities, according to leading North Korean expert Markus Garlauskas. The former US intelligence official told the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) that North Korea will likely unveil the new missile at the parade held on 10th October.
He also suggested that North Korea would move onto ramping up its nuclear weapons tests, throwing whoever is elected at the US presidential election into an immediate crisis.
Mr Garlauskas told a CSIS webinar: “Certainly I think at this point, the idea of some sort of a meaningful summit prior to the US election is off the table.
“But, the idea of a weapon at the parade is real. South Korean lawmakers talked about a missile with multiple warhead capabilities.
“That would be a game-changer. I hope it’s not what it is, but I think that is a very real concern.”
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Sue Mi Terry, a Senior Fellow and Korea Chair at CSIS, added: “Kim Jong-un already mentioned unveiling a strategic weapon on January 1st, so I think that is very likely to happen in October at the parade.
“I think they already have one. But they were just distracted in terms of timing, because so much has happened this year.
“Instead of doing a nuclear test or an ICBM test, I think they will unveil this new weapon on October 10th. That would be the perfect time to showcase it.
“I think a nuclear test or ICBM test is unlikely before the election because they still want Trump to be re-elected.
Mr Garlauskas suggested that the missile provocation would try to shape any incoming US administration’s North Korean policy.
He said: “Kim said recently he was no longer bound by his pledges to refrain from ICBM and nuclear testing.”
North Korea recently released new photos of Kim Jong-un in a bid to debunk claims that the leader was in a coma.
Chang Song-min, a diplomat and former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung, made the claims, even suggesting that Kim’s sister Kim Yo Jong had taken over as leader.