North Korea’s latest display of its military hardware at a parade last week focused more on new missiles and less on tanks and artillery, suggesting it was trying to project the image of a country with advanced capabilities in warfare.
The Reuters graphics team has analyzed the weapons shown during the five major parades staged in North Korea under its current leader Kim Jong Un, who took power in 2011 after the death of his father.
Here is a link to the interactive graphic (tmsnrt.rs/2ox2IgH )
The analysis shows there has been a gradual decline in tanks and artillery pieces on display since 2012, Kim Jong Un’s first parade as leader, and a move to more long-range missiles.
“This shift might indicate North Korea wants to redefine the outside world’s perception of its military capabilities from masses of troops and tanks to more advanced weapon systems,” said David Schmerler, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation.
Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The North has said it has developed and would launch a missile that can strike the mainland United States but officials and experts believe it is some time away from mastering all the necessary technology.
(Reporting by James Pearson, Writing by Darren Schuettler; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)