Kim Jong-un joined by Russia, China officials at parade

Kim Jong-un has announced the launch of North Korea's first "tactical nuclear attack submarine".

Kim Jong-un has announced the launch of North Korea's first "tactical nuclear attack submarine". Photo: AAP

Chinese and Russian officials have 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.

The widely anticipated parade in the capital on Thursday night commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Korean War, 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.

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 co-operation, KCNA said.

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

Washington has accused Pyongyang of providing weapons to Russia for its war effort in Ukraine. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Thursday the US was “incredibly concerned” about ties between Moscow and Pyongyang.

Pyongyang and Moscow have denied conducting any arms transactions.

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

North Korea has been under UN 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 US-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.


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