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North Korea shows off drones and ballistic missiles at night-time parade

North Korea shows off drones and ballistic missiles at night-time parade © Reuters. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, along with Russia’s defense minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong, attends a performance in Pyongyang, in this image released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency on July 2

By Hyunsu Yim and Josh Smith

SEOUL (Reuters) – Nuclear-capable missiles and new attack drones were among the weapons displayed in a large military parade staged in Pyongyang for leader Kim Jong Un and visiting delegations from China and Russia, North Korean state media reported on Friday.

The widely anticipated parade was held on Thursday night to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, celebrated in North Korea as “Victory Day”.

The Chinese and Russian delegations, including Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, were the first such visitors to North Korea since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Their appearance at events with the North’s nuclear missiles – which were banned by the United Nations Security Council with China’s and Russia’s support – marked a contrast with previous years when Beijing and Moscow took steps to distance themselves from their neighbour’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.

The parade included North Korea’s latest Hwasong-17 and Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missiles, according to state news agency KCNA, which are believed to have the range to strike targets anywhere in the United States.

The event also featured a fly over by new attack and spy drones, KCNA reported.

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