North Koreans attending Pyongyang’s ice sculpture festival have been treated to a chilling glimpse of the country’s latest weaponry – an ice ICBM sculpture.
The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper ran a report on Wednesday showing smiling spectators dressed in thick winter coats posing in front of the replica on New Year’s Eve, waving cameras and smartphones to grab a shot.
Pyongyang says the weapon depicted in the sculpture, a Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile, which it tested in November, is capable of hitting the US mainland.
“The ice sculpture recalled the November incident which had caused tremendous excitement for tens of millions of soldiers and people,” the paper said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un used his annual New Year address to warn he has a “nuclear button” on his table, but reached out to Seoul and appealed for warmer ties, in a move that could presage something of a thaw in relations between the two.
Pyongyang said on Wednesday it would reopen a hotline with Seoul to discuss attending the Winter Olympics in the South.
Kim’s comments came after a year that saw multiple missile launches by the North and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test – purportedly of a hydrogen bomb.
Other sculptures on display at the Pyongyang Ice Sculpture Festival, which opened on Kim Il-Sung Square on Sunday, included North Korean landmarks, dolphins, a fishing boat and a tractor.