Dictator Kim Jong Un has said North Korea wants to become the world’s most powerful nuclear force as it celebrates the launch of its newest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), state media reported on Sunday.
Kim also promoted more than 100 officials and scientists for their work on the Hwasong 17, which analysts call a “monster missile” and which is believed to hit the continental United States within days of its test launch.
Kim hailed the new ICBM as “the most powerful strategic weapon in the world” and said North Korean scientists had made “a wonderful leap forward in the technological development of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles”, the official KCNA news agency reported.
Building the nuclear force to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people “is the greatest and most important revolutionary cause, and its aim is to have the most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century,” Kim said at the ceremony. .
The promoted officers and scientists demonstrated to the world the “goal of building the strongest army in the world”, he added.
The Hwasong 17 launch vehicle was proclaimed “Hero of the DPRK (North Korea)”, KCNA said in a separate report. “It has clearly demonstrated to the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power,” according to the agency.
Hong Min of the Korean National Unification Institute commented that the celebration of the launch of Hwasong 17 is aimed at raising his country’s image as a nuclear power.
“If the 2017 Hwasong 15 focused on becoming the country that can threaten the US homeland with nuclear weapons, the new missile aims to make it the most powerful state with ballistic missiles,” he said.
Since 2006, the UN Security Council has passed several resolutions imposing sanctions against Pyongyang for its nuclear and missile activity.
During a photo session on Saturday with officials and scientists involved in the missile launch, Kim called for “unlimited reinforcement of the defensive force”, KCNA said.
Kim urged scientists and workers to “expand and strengthen the nuclear deterrent element at an exceptionally rapid rate”.
The official Rodong Sinmun newspaper published several photos of Kim with his “beloved daughter”, who appeared for the first time in public photos during the ICBM launch last week.
Until then, the state media had never mentioned Kim’s children. In fact, the publication of the week was the first official confirmation that he has a daughter, according to experts.
The footage shows a girl believed to be Kim’s second daughter, Ju Ae, dressed in a black fur coat on her father’s arm as she walks past the giant missile.