North Korea’s most recent launch, state media said on Friday, was a massive new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which leader Kim Jong Un stated was intended to display the country’s nuclear power and prevent any US military moves.
It was North Korea’s first major ICBM test since 2017, and flight data showed the missile went higher and longer than any of the country’s prior tests before crashing into the sea west of Japan.
According to specialists, the Hwasong-17 ICBM is the largest liquid-fueled missile ever fired from a road-mobile launcher by any country.
According to state news agency KCNA, Kim ordered the test due to “daily-escalating military tension in and around the Korean peninsula” and the “inevitability of the long-standing confrontation with US imperialists accompanied by the threat of nuclear war.”
According to KCNA, Kim declared while personally overseeing the launch, “The strategic forces of the DPRK are fully poised to totally curb and contain any reckless military attempts of the US imperialists.” North Korea’s official name is abbreviated as DPRK.
As the US responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, North Korea’s return to significant nuclear tests capable of striking the US offers a direct threat to US President Joe Biden. It also increases the possibility of a new crisis following the election of a new, conservative South Korean government, which has promised a more robust military strategy to fight Pyongyang.
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea, who will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Friday, said North Korea benefited nothing from provocations. North Korea’s only significant ally and neighbor is China.
Leaders in the United States, Japan, and South Korea all condemned the launch.
The test, according to Kim, will help persuade the world of the country’s strategic forces’ modern traits.
According to KCNA, he added, “Any forces should be made well aware of the fact that they will have to pay a very high price before daring to attempt to infringe upon the security of our country.”
Kim’s remarks elicited no immediate response from the White House or the State Department.