Kim Jong Un shows off new attack drones and ballistic missiles to Sergei Shoigu at


Russian and Chinese officials stood shoulder to shoulder with Kim Jong Un as they reviewed North Korea’s latest nuclear-capable missiles and new attack drones at a military parade in Pyongyang, North Korean state media showed on Friday.

The widely anticipated parade in the capital on Thursday night commemorated the 70th anniversary of the armistice that ended of the Korean War on July 27, 1953 – celebrated in North Korea as ‘Victory Day’.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu’s visit was the first by Moscow’s top defence official since the 1991 break-up of the Soviet Union. China’s visitors were the country’s first such delegation since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Their appearance at events with the North’s nuclear missiles – banned by the United Nations Security Council with Chinese and Russian support – marked a contrast with previous years, when Beijing and Moscow sought to distance themselves from their neighbour’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.

Kim, Shoigu and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong talked, laughed and saluted as North Korean troops marched and weapons rolled below, photos released by North Korean state media showed, before Kim gave Shoigu a tour of a plush official building adorned with portraits of Vladimir Putin.

Chinese and Russian officials stood shoulder to shoulder with Kim Jong Un as they reviewed North Korea's latest nuclear-capable missiles last night. Pictured: North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (left) guides Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (right) to the banquet hall during his visit to the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea headquarters in Pyongyang, with a large portrait of Russian leader Vladimir Putin hanging on the wall

Chinese and Russian officials stood shoulder to shoulder with Kim Jong Un as they reviewed North Korea’s latest nuclear-capable missiles last night. Pictured: North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (left) guides Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (right) to the banquet hall during his visit to the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea headquarters in Pyongyang, with a large portrait of Russian leader Vladimir Putin hanging on the wall

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese Communist Party politburo member Li Hongzhong and Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu observe a display of missiles during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, July 27

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Chinese Communist Party politburo member Li Hongzhong and Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu observe a display of missiles during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice, July 27

All smiles as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu observe a military parade in Pyongyang last night

All smiles as North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu observe a military parade in Pyongyang last night

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, toast at a banquet hall of the ruling Workers' Party's headquarters in Pyongyang, July 27

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, left, toast at a banquet hall of the ruling Workers’ Party’s headquarters in Pyongyang, July 27

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

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

Kim hosted a reception and had a luncheon with Shoigu, where the North Korean leader vowed solidarity with the Russian people and its military.

Shoigu praised the North Korean military as the strongest in the world, and the two discussed strategic security and defence cooperation, KCNA said.

At another meeting, Shoigu read a congratulatory speech from Russian President Putin who thanked North Korea for its support during the ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, state media reported.

Bizarrely, a large portrait of Putin was seen mounted in a corridor walked by Kim and Shoigu together, the Russian leader’s face seen looming over the pair from a wall opposite a second portrait of the North Korean dictator.

Washington has accused Pyongyang of providing weapons to Russia for its war effort in Ukraine, an accusation that North Korea has angrily denied.

State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Thursday the U.S. was ‘incredibly concerned’ about ties between Moscow and Pyongyang.

Moscow has also denied conducting any arms transactions with its neighbour.

The new surveillance drones could be used to survey targets in real time, conduct damage assessment in a war and generally enhance strategic situational awareness, said Ankit Panda of the U.S.-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

A Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile is driven through a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the armistice that halted fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War, on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, July 27

A Hwasong-18 intercontinental ballistic missile is driven through a military parade to mark the 70th anniversary of the armistice that halted fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War, on Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea Thursday, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Pictured: An image of Russia's leader Vladamir Putin and his defence minister is shown during a banquet hosted by North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un for a visiting Russian defence delegation at the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea headquarters, Pyongyang

Pictured: An image of Russia’s leader Vladamir Putin and his defence minister is shown during a banquet hosted by North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un for a visiting Russian defence delegation at the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea headquarters, Pyongyang

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (centre right) hosting a Russian defence delegation led by Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (centre left), with a photo of Kim and Vladimir Putin shaking hands on the wall displayed behind them, July 27

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (centre right) hosting a Russian defence delegation led by Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (centre left), with a photo of Kim and Vladimir Putin shaking hands on the wall displayed behind them, July 27

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (right) poses for a photo with Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) during the Russian's visit to North Korea, July 27

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (right) poses for a photo with Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (left) during the Russian’s visit to North Korea, July 27

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

In December five North Korean drones crossed into the South, prompting Seoul’s military to scramble fighter jets and helicopters, and increase anti-drone measures at key facilities, including the presidential office.

The new attack drones would have limited use in a war on the Korean Peninsula given their vulnerability to anti-aircraft defences, but ‘North Korea may seek to offer these drones to external customers,’ Panda said.

The drones were among the weapons displayed at an arms fair toured by Kim and Shoigu this week in Pyongyang, state media photos showed.

Putin’s defence minister is believed to have sealed secret agreements for new supplies of arms to deploy in his illegal war against Ukraine.

Shoigu remained in North Korea longer than expected – after his ministry earlier announced plans to depart on Thursday.

He was shown finally leaving early Friday, his fourth day visiting the repressive state despite the demands of the war in Ukraine where he is suffering significant setbacks in Kyiv’s counteroffensive.

Pro-war bloggers in Russia criticised him for having his eye off the ball as Ukraine steps up its military fightback.

But the fear is that a secret pact will see ammunition and drones delivered to Russia to use for yet more killing in Ukraine.

Shoigu’s visit has seen unprecedented Russian kowtowing to the 39-year-old tyrant.

A new model of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the solid-fuel Hwasong-18, is paraded at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to mark a key anniversary of the Korean War, July 27

A new model of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the solid-fuel Hwasong-18, is paraded at Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang to mark a key anniversary of the Korean War, July 27

A view of tanks displayed during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

A view of tanks displayed during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

In a speech at the parade, Defence Minister General Kang Sun Nam accused the United States and its allies of increasing tensions in the region.

North Korea has been under U.N. sanctions for its missile and nuclear programs since 2006. This includes a ban on the development of ballistic missiles.

In recent years Russia and China have opposed U.S.-led efforts to impose further sanctions on North Korea over its continued pursuit of ballistic missiles, arguing existing measures should be eased for humanitarian purposes and to help entice Pyongyang to negotiate.

The last time North Korea invited foreign government delegates for a military parade was in February 2018, when it held a low-key event that excluded Kim’s ICBMs.

North Korea at the time was initiating diplomacy with Seoul and Washington as Kim attempted to leverage his nukes for badly needed economic benefits.

Those efforts led to a summit between Kim and then-U.S. President Donald Trump that June, but the diplomacy collapsed after their second meeting in February 2019, when the Americans rejected North Korean demands for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of their nuclear capabilities.

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers participate in a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Soldiers march during a military parade to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War armistice in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 27

Kim has since ramped up the development of the nuclear arms that he sees as his strongest guarantee of survival while berating ‘gangster-like’ U.S. sanctions and pressure.

The Chinese and Russian presence at events with banned ballistic missiles cast doubts on those countries’ willingness to enforce sanctions, said Leif-Eric Easley, professor of international studies at Ewha Womans University in Seoul.

‘It doesn’t help when two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council openly support a North Korean regime that violates human rights and flouts resolutions banning its nuclear and missile development,’ Easley said.

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said, ‘All members of Security Council and, frankly, all member states of the U.N., share the same responsibility to uphold Security Council resolutions.’



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