Kim Jong-un staged a military parade full of pomp and ceremony designed to show off his powerful weapons arsenal.
While many noticed this year's parade featured fewer weapons compared to last year, it wasn't long before eagle-eyed watchers noticed something significant in the line-up.
North Korea watcher Michael Elleman, from respected monitoring website 38 North, said there were no long-range ballistic missiles unveiled, but noted a new solid-fuel, short-range ballistic missile (SRBM) was on show.
Elleman said the size and external features of the new SRBM suggested that it is based on the Russian Iskander (9K720) ballistic missile, which shares many features found on South Korea's Hyunmoo-2 ballistic missile.
"Additionally, this new missile does appear to be slightly larger than North Korea's existing solid-fuel, short-range missile system — the Toksa (SS-21) — so would presumably have a longer range, making it roughly equivalent to the Iskander or Hyunmoo-2 systems," he writes.
Elleman said it was hard to tell where the missile came from or what its performance would be like and queried a few differences with the Russian missile, including data-cable covers that run alongside the exterior of the surface and extend into the warhead section.
The new missiles are also carried in pairs on top of four-axle trucks, which "are unlike those that support the Russian Iskander".
The parade marked the 70th anniversary of its armed forces and put the country's intercontinental ballistic missiles on show just one day before the opening of the Winter Olympics in Seoul.
It featured soldiers marching in formation through Kim Il-sung Square followed by trucks, artillery, tanks and finally four giant Hwasong-15 ICBMs — as well as a band forming the Korean word for "Victory".
Unlike the North's last parade in April 2017 state television did not show the event live, instead choosing to air it hours later.
WHAT WAS ON SHOW
This year's parade was shorter and featured fewer missiles than the previous one, which was held in April last year and unveiled five new kinds of missiles — surprising analysts and generating headlines worldwide.
Though fewer in number, all of the basic components were brought out again during the parade.
One of the North's ICBMs — the Hwasong-15 — was wheeled out along with a variety of other missiles, including a Hwasong-12 mid-range missile, which the North flew over Japan twice last year.
Shea Cotton, a research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, said in many ways the "parade was the dog that didn't bark".
Cotton said researchers were very curious about what this parade would show amid speculation the North would display new missile systems, including some new transporter erector launchers (TELs), or provide some information about their command and control systems.
He said North Korea didn't really show many new weapons at all.
"The long range ballistic missiles that they showed were all systems we knew about and had seen launched before," he said.
"Last year, North Korea displayed several new systems (which they went on to test over the next several weeks). This year they didn't do that."
Cotton said he suspected part of the reason was the North feels the missiles they have are good enough to meet their current goals.
"They've got missiles that can reliably hit their neighbours and they've got ICBMs that can hit the US," he said.
"At Kim Jong-un's New Year's address he said something to the effect that North Korea had completed its missile and nuclear program.
"That could mean that for now they plan to hold off on developing entirely new systems and will instead focus on perfecting and augmenting these newer systems."
Cotton said there was also a prominent display of the Pukukksong-2 (KN-15) on parade, to the exclusion North Korea's scud variants and Nodong missiles.
"The KN-15 is a solid fuel missile too. Whereas the Nodong and ER Scud are liquid fuel missiles," he said.
Cotton said the new SRMB looked like a Toksa, a short range missile, with only about a 200 kilometre range.
"38 North is probably correct in their analysis that these are actually larger variants with a longer range, though we won't know for sure until we see some sort of test," he said.
"If its range is similar to an Iskander, then that would put its range probably around 350 to 450km. That's about the same as the Scud-C, a liquid fuel missile which did not appear in the parade."
WHAT WE DON'T SEE
Cotton said doubts remained over what wasn't on show and questioned whether the North was starting to make a shift away from liquid fuel missiles in their short and medium range arsenal to solid fuel missiles.
He also said there was nothing on show relating to North Korea's command and control system, which minor but still important.
"Remember earlier when Kim and Trump were bragging about the size of their "buttons"? I've seen some interpretations of Kim's statement about his nuclear button to say that he's talking about how they've developed a robust command and control system that will allow him to order the launch of missiles at any moment," he said.
"How this might have manifested in the parade might have been with a picture or video clip showing a guy with a large briefcase standing prominently behind Kim while he watched the parade.
"Perhaps the briefcase might have had some warning label on it or some way of signalling its significance. We also didn't see that."
Cotton said this could be because North Korea doesn't want to give away detailed information about its command and control system, which would be understandable.
"Or perhaps their system would function differently than we've been imaging it or perhaps some combination of the two," he said.
The North's military parade raised also suspicions in the South over the sudden rapprochement, which follows a series of weapons tests.
"By holding the military parade a day before the Olympics and showing off its military power made me doubt Kim Jong-un's intentions," Lee Young-wook, a protester from Seoul told AFP.
North Korea is under multiple sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, which have seen it develop rockets capable of reaching the US mainland.
Leading North Korea expert Dr Leonid Petrov said the parade was moved forward for propaganda purposes.
The visiting fellow at the Australian National University's College of Asia and the Pacific told news.com.au the parade was being staged now as a way of distracting North Koreans' attention away from the Olympics.
It was also designed to show his people how great North Korea army was.
"It's an important distraction," Dr Petrov said.
"It's to show how loyal the army is and to demonstrate the loyalty of the people."
Dr Petrov said the parade was also designed to show promote the image of a strong and united DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea).
"It's simply propaganda and spin," Dr Petrov said.
"It legitimises Kim in a massive show of strength."