North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (centre) walks around what it says is a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile on the launcher in North Korea. File/AP
The statement suggests North Korea might perform additional launches or even test a nuclear device soon as it pushes to modernize its arsenal and increase pressure on the Biden administration while nuclear diplomacy remains stalled.
Last Thursday, the North performed its 12th round of weapons tests this year, launching the newly developed, long-range Hwasong-17, which analysts say was designed to reach anywhere in the US mainland.
During a photo session with scientists and others involved in the Hwasong-17 test, Kim expressed a resolve to build up the country’s attack capability to cope with threats, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.
This photo shows a test-fire of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile in North Korea. AP
"Only when one is equipped with the formidable striking capabilities, overwhelming military power that cannot be stopped by anyone, one can prevent a war, guarantee the security of the country and contain and put under control all threats and blackmails by the imperialists,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
Kim said North Korea will develop more "powerful strike means” and also expressed his conviction and expectation that his country will "more vigorously perfect the nuclear war deterrence of the country,” KCNA said.
North Korea said the Hwasong-17 flew to a maximum altitude of 6,248 kilometres (3,880 miles) and traveled 1,090 kilometres (680 miles) during a 67-minute flight before landing in waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Outside experts said if the missile is fired on a standard trajectory, flatter than the steep test angle, it could fly as far as 15,000 kilometres (9,320 miles), enough to reach anywhere in the US mainland and beyond.
People look at a copy of North Korea's newspaper Rodong Sinmun at the Jonsung Metro Station in Pyongyang. AP
Believed to be about 25 metres (82 feet) long, the Hwasong-17 is the North’s longest-range weapon and, by some estimates, the world’s biggest road-mobile ballistic missile system. Its size suggests the missile is meant to carry multiple nuclear warheads, given the North already has single-warhead ICBMs that could also hit most of the US.
US-led diplomacy aimed at convincing North Korea to denuclearize in return for economic and political benefits largely has stalled since 2019. The Biden administration has urged North Korea to return to talks without any preconditions, but Pyongyang has responded Washington must drop its hostility first and has taken steps to expand his weapons arsenals.
North Korea has said it is open to diplomacy, but that Washington's overtures are undermined by its support for sanctions and joint military drills and arms buildups in South Korea and the region.
North Korea has conducted a record number of such tests this year, and also fired hundreds of artillery shells into the sea more recently as South Korea and the United States staged exercises, some of which involved Japan.
The test comes a day before the nuclear-armed North marks the 108th anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il Sung, grandfather of the current leader Kim Jong Un.
North Korea has fired its most powerful missile since 2017, marking a month-long blitz of launches that has raised the spectre of leader Kim Jong Un restarting nuclear tests. He wants to catapult his nuclear ambitions to centre stage. Pyongyang conducted
The first international app using astronomical Sharia-compliant criteria issued by a government institution Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, under the supervision of the International Astronomical Center.
The aid included winter necessities, such as heating devices, blankets, clothes, children's supplies, and food parcels, to protect those affected by the consequences of low temperatures, extreme cold, and the spread of winter diseases, especially children.
The festival features over 200 events, including workshops, seminars, cinematic screenings, competitions, and prizes, offering a unique opportunity to master the art of photography in all its forms.