The parade to mark the 105th birth anniversary of founder president Kim Il-sung, North Korea displayed six Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) for the first time, towed behind trucks painted in North Korean navy camouflage, photographs showed.
And, the logo of Chinese firm Sinotruk can be clearly seen on the vehicles, in a move that could infuriate US President Donald Trump after he urged China to solve the “North Korea problem” in exchange for a trade deal.
He wrote on Twitter: “I explained to the President of China that a trade deal with the U.S. will be far better for them if they solve the North Korean problem!
“North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.”
Last year, North Korea was using Sinotruk HOWO trucks to display a new mobile artillery system.
However, a Sinotruk sales official said on Tuesday he was not aware the company’s trucks had been used in this year’s parade.
An official, who only gave his surname as Gu, said: “From my understanding, we haven’t had any business with the North Korean market since last year; North Korea has never been a major focus of ours.
“It may have been from before then and they refitted it themselves.”
Since 2006, it has been against UN sanctions to ship military hardware into North Korea.
But control of equipment and vehicles that have “dual-use” military and civilian applications has been far less stringent – while dual-use vehicles are also much harder to track.
Pyongyang state media has in the past released images of Sinotruk chassis and cabins in propaganda related to construction or mining.
A UN report which noted the use of the trucks in the display of mobile artillery last year did not name Sinotruk, but said that the Chinese seller had included a “clear clause” in its deal with the North Korean buyer that the trucks were to be for civilian use only.
Kim Jong-un’s reclusive state also appeared to reveal two new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) during Saturday’s parade.
One was mounted on a large off-road truck which was identified in an earlier UN report as being of Chinese origin.
In a 2010 statement sent to China, Pyongyang’s forestry ministry said the trucks were bought to transport timber, according to the UN report.
The second of the two ICBMs was mounted on a North Korean-branded “Taekpaeksan” military truck which used tyres made by China-based Triangle Group, according to photos of the parade seen by Reuters.
Triangle Group, a major tyre manufacturer headquartered in Weihai, a port city in eastern Shandong province, said it was not aware its tyres had been used in the military parade.
An official from Triangle’s export department said: “It’s possible they were resold from somewhere else.”
Source : EXPRESS