Kim Jong-un has promoted the scientists and soldiers involved in the test launch of North Korea’s largest missile, the Hwasong-17.
According to state media, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his ultimate goal is to own the most powerful nuclear force in the world.
Kim made the announcement on Saturday as he promoted dozens of military officers involved in the recent launch of North Korea’s largest ballistic missile, the Hwasong-17, Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.
In his order, Kim said North Korea was building a nuclear force to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and its people and said his country’s “ultimate goal is to become the most powerful strategic power in the world.” to possess, the absolute power unprecedented in the age”.
He said the Hwasong-17 – an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of reaching the United States – was the “world’s strongest strategic weapon” and demonstrated North Korea’s determination and ability to eventually strongest army in the world.
The launch of the ICBM on November 18 has been condemned by members of the United Nations Security Council, who called it “a serious escalation” and an “unequivocal threat to international peace and security”. The launch is part of an ongoing blitz of North Korean tests this year, including the firing of cruise missiles and dozens of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles.
Kim said on Saturday that North Korean scientists have also made a “magnificent leap forward in developing the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles.”
He did not elaborate further.
That capability is critical if North Korea is to achieve its goal of possessing a nuclear weapon capable of striking its main enemy, the US.
Outside observers say that while North Korea has nuclear bombs and missiles that can fly as far as the US, it’s not clear whether Pyongyang scientists can shrink the nuclear weapons to fit the tight space in the nose of the missiles.
Kim told the scientists, engineers, military officials and others involved in Saturday’s Hwasong-17 test that he expects them to continue expanding and strengthening the country’s nuclear deterrent at an extraordinarily rapid pace.
The North Korean leader and his daughter then posed for a series of photos with both those workers and the Hwasong-17.
In a separate report, KCNA also said that the powerful Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea awarded the Hwasong-17 missile the title of “DPRK Hero and Gold Star Medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class.” North Korea refers to the official name of North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
KCNA said the missile “clearly proved to the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power capable of resisting the nuclear supremacy of the US imperialists and fully demonstrated its power as the most powerful ICBM state”.
The test firing also showed that North Korea will respond in kind to “the enemy nuclear bomb and head-on confrontation,” it added.