the north korean leader kim jong unaccompanied by his daughter, supervised the latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and affirmed that it will respond with nuclear weapons to US threats, the state agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
Kim appeared in photos with his wife and daughter – the first time one of their children has appeared in state media – supervising the launch of the missile which, according to KCNA, was a Hwasong-17, what analysts have called the “monster missile.”
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The launch of the “new kind of ICBMs” was a success, according to KCNA, which highlighted how “the test clearly demonstrated the reliability of the new large strategic weapon system.”
The missile is evidence that “the DPRK’s (North Korea) nuclear forces have secured another fully capable reliable means of containing nuclear threats,” it added.
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After what Kim jong un said in September that his country was an “irreversible” nuclear state, USA it strengthened military cooperation with Japan and South Korea and has sought to strengthen defense in the region.
Kim criticized what he described as “hysterical maneuvers of aggression” and assured that if Washington cContinues to Threaten the North, Pyongyang “Will Respond to Nuclear Missiles with Nuclear Weapons, and to Full Confrontation with Full Fire”KCNA said.
North Korea has carried out a record wave of nuclear tests in recent weeks which Pyongyang attributes to a response to US maneuvers in the region.
with the daughter
KCNA reported that Kim witnessed the launch “together with his beloved daughter and wife,” and posted pictures of a smiling Kim walking in front of a huge black and white missile next to a girl dressed in a white jacket and red shoes.
It is rare for the state media to mention Kim’s children, and this is believed to be one of the first official appearances by her daughter, experts say.
The presence of the country’s first family gives “greater strength and courage in the dynamic advance to strengthen the state’s nuclear forces,” according to KCNA.
He added that the missile reached a maximum altitude of 6,040.9 km and a distance of 999.2 km, similar to the figures provided on Friday by the South Korean military and Japanese authorities, and slightly lower than those of the ICBM launched by Pyongyang on March 24.
Analysts said Friday’s launch would have been successful.
“This launch is important because it is believed to be the first successful flight of a Hawsong-17 ICBM.″, told AFP Joseph Dempsey, a researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
The missile was fired up, not to the side, to prevent it from flying over Japan.
But “monster missile” has disadvantages. “Its size makes it less practical because the trucking system and manufacturing are a greater burden on the limited resources” of the country, Dempsey said.
The UN Security Council announced Saturday that it will discuss North Korea’s weapons tests at a meeting on Monday.
Previously, the North Korean army fired a short-range missile on Thursday and a few weeks ago carried out a wave of launches, including a ICBMs.
On November 2 alone, it fired 23 missiles, including one that crossed the de facto maritime border with South Korea.
Washington responded to the North Korean tests by expanding its military exercises with South Korea, including sending a strategic bomber plane.
North Korea calls such maneuvers rehearsals for an invasion.
The most significant thing about the launch of the ICBM on Friday is “the permanence of the arms program of the regime of Kimbecause it is integral to the survival and continuity” of her family’s kingdom, the analyst told AFP soo kimof the Rand Corporation.
With the coverage of the state press, he said, “we have seen with our own eyes the fourth generation of the family Kim”.