It seems the North Koreans just can’t get enough of showcasing missiles:
North Korea rolled out what appeared to be a new ballistic missile, Sunday, as the impoverished state marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-sung with a massive military parade.
The unveiling came after the North’s young and untested leader Kim Jong-un vowed to proceed with his late father Kim Jong-il’s “military-first” policy in his first public speech.
A South Korean military official said the missile is presumed to have a range of up to 6,000 kilometers and capable of hitting Alaska, and that Seoul and U.S. intelligence authorities were looking into whether it had been deployed.
Reports said the missile appeared to have several stages and was bigger than its mid-range Musudan missile unveiled in October 2010.
The speech by Kim and the showcasing of the missile were seen as efforts to mark the North’s self-proclaimed arrival as a “strong and prosperous” state on the landmark 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il-sung, the founder of the country and Jong-un’s grandfather, despite a failed satellite launch two days earlier.
“Let’s move on toward to our final victory!” Kim Jong-un said, addressing tens of thousands of people and members of the North’s armed forces gathered at Kim Il-sung Square. The young Kim is believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, and was hastily groomed to lead the Stalinist country after his father died of heart failure. [Korea Times]
This is probably the missile that Defense Secretary Panetta disclosed to Congress last December. The recent failed Taepodong-2 launch I think shows that the North Koreans have great ability to roll out new long range missiles but whether or not they work is a whole different story.