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North Korea’s military displayed enough intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to defeat America’s air defenses on the West Coast, according to satellite images of a martial parade on Wednesday.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un organized the parade throughout last week, showing off up to 12 individual Hwasong-17 ICBM launchers. The U.S. has just 44 missile interceptors on America’s West Coast, with some stationed in California and others in Alaska, according to Politico.
If the 12 ICBMs carry a payload of four warheads each, they would overwhelm America’s prepared defenses, according to the report.
North Korea has struggled to demonstrate the range capability of its ICBMs, however, through the Hwasong-17s are thought to be capable of reaching the U.S. from the country.
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North Korea holds a military parade in Pyongyang. (Getty)
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un attends a military parade with his daughter. (Getty)
Wednesday’s military parade in Pyongyang came after Kim disappeared from the public eye for more than a month. He only reappeared during a meeting with his Central Military Commission on Monday. His absence from a Politburo meeting on Sunday raised further speculation regarding his whereabouts.
The country’s state-run media reported that Kim and his leaders discussed “constantly expanding and intensifying the operation and combat drills” and “more strictly perfecting the preparedness for war,” according to The Associated Press.
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Tensions with North Korea have flared in recent months as the U.S. shores up relationships with regional allies like South Korea and Japan. The U.S. has sought to deter China and North Korea from engaging in a conflict over South Korea or Taiwan.
China held a series of unprecedented military drills surrounding Taiwan last fall, leading to more lively exercises from the U.S. and its allies as well.
A pair of ICBM launchers pass by crowds in Pyongyang. (Getty)
Kim fired North Korea’s top military official in early January. Pak Jong Chon, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission, was the second most powerful military official in the country, behind only Kim himself. He was replaced by one Ri Yong Gil during a series of meetings with the Commission and Kim’s Central Committee.
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The leadership shakeup came as Kim is growing increasingly aggressive with ballistic missile tests, having launched dozens throughout last year.
Anders Hagstrom is a reporter with Fox News Digital covering national politics and major breaking news events. Send tips to [email protected], or on Twitter: @Hagstrom_Anders.