Kim jong un has unveiled north koreas biggest ever intercontinental ballistic missile, highlighting his determination to develop the nations nuclear weapons capability despite tough international sanctions.
The new long-range missile was revealed at a two-hour military parade, held at kim il sung square, that also showcased new technology across smaller weapons systems.
Kim jong un said his countrys deterrent capabilities were for self-defence against hostile forces.
But should anyone undermine our national security and mobilise military power against us, i will retaliate by using the most powerful offensive force at our disposal and in a pre-emptive manner, mr kim said, according to a translation by south koreas yonhap news agency.
Ankit panda, a nuclear weapons expert at the carnegie endowment for international peace, said that while more analysis was required, the weapon was the largest road-mobile liquid propellant icbm anywhere, certainly.
North korea, despite all attempts to stymie its progress, continues to make significant advancements in its conventional and nuclear forces, he said, adding this progress was dangerous for the united states and our allies.
The night-time parade, marked the 75th anniversary of the founding of north koreas ruling workers party. edited video of the event was broadcast via state television.
Mr kims showcasing of his military prowess comes as international experts say north korea is facing worst economic crisis in at least 10 years.
Strictly enforced coronavirus-related border closures have led to a plunge in trade with china and the country has been hit by extreme flooding, exacerbating the severe hit to state finances stemming from several years of tough us and un sanctions.
In a roughly 25-minute speech, the 36-year-old dictator apologised for the hardships his people faced. he was emotional at several points as he thanked soldiers for their efforts in responding to the crises.
Rachel lee, a former north korea analyst for the us government, said the speech was carefully calibrated to be relatable to ordinary north koreans.
It is extremely unusual for him to repeatedly thank and apologise to his people...i have seen him becoming emotional during public appearances but not to this extent, ms lee said, adding: the parade was clearly designed to honour the party and instil pride in the army and the people for all of north koreas achievements despite multiple difficulties.
The reminder of the nuclear threat posed by mr kim comes against a backdrop of stalled talks between pyongyang and washington despite three meetings in two years with us president donald trump.
The two sides have failed to agree on a plan that encompasses us demands for mr kim to give up his nuclear weapons and north koreas insistence that the trump administration and the un ease sanctions.
With the us election just weeks away there is rising uncertainty over the us approach to north korea under a potential biden administration.
Since mr kims 2018 meeting with mr trump in singapore, north korea has kept a self-imposed moratorium on long-range missile and nuclear tests. mr trump has pointed to apparent restraint as a sign of success in his unprecedented engagement with mr kim.
Weapons experts have noted, however, that pyongyang has tested more than 30 shorter-range weapons since mid-2019 including nine this year boosting its technical capability and confidence to deploy longer-range weapons.
North korea has clearly sought to modulate the tone of its message to the us, by showcasing a new icbm rather than test-launching it. however, we need to note that kim jong un once again made it clear through the parade that strategic weapons development remains north koreas goal and this will remain a challenge for the next us administration, ms lee said.
Analysts noted a complete lack of face mask wearing among both the leaders and the crowds at the parade, suggesting either the leaderships confidence it has tackled, or its disregard for, the risks of coronavirus transmission.