N Korea confirms ICBM test, touts nuclear counterattack ability | Military News

Pyongyang said its latest ICBM test was aimed at bolstering its “deadly nuclear counterattack” capability.

North Korea said it had fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as a warning to the US and South Korea, claiming the drills had successfully demonstrated the ability to launch a “nuclear counterattack”. Deadly”.

North Korea’s statement on Sunday came a day later. launch Hwasong-15 out to sea off the west coast of Japan after warning of a strong reaction about upcoming US and South Korean military exercises.

“The ICBM surprise launch exercise… is the real proof of the consistent efforts of the strategic nuclear forces of the DPRK to transform the lethal nuclear counterattack against hostile forces into a capability. irresistible,” said state news agency KCNA, using the initials of the country’s initials. The official name is Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Leader Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, has been furious with the US for trying to turn the UN Security Council into what she calls “an instrument for a cruel hostile policy” against Pyongyang.

“I warn that we will monitor the enemy’s every movement and take a corresponding, very strong and overwhelming response to any moves hostile to us,” she said in a statement. dad.

Saturday’s rocket launch, North Korea’s first since January 1, came after Pyongyang on Friday threatened an “unprecedentedly strong, persistent” response. as the United States and South Korea prepare for annual military exercises as part of efforts to counter Pyongyang’s growing nuclear and missile threats. .

The state news agency said the missile flew for 1 hour, 6 minutes and 55 seconds, at an altitude of 5,768km (3,584 miles), before accurately hitting a predetermined area 989km (615 miles) away in open sea.

The Hwasong-15 was first tested in 2017.

Japan said on Saturday that the missile landed in waters inside its exclusive economic zone.

‘No warnings’

North Korea has nuclear weapons unprecedented number of rockets last year, including ICBMs capable of striking anywhere in the US, while continuing preparations for the first nuclear test since 2017.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said Saturday’s launch “clearly” signaled Pyongyang’s intention to carry out further provocations.

“If North Korea conducts its seventh nuclear test, which can happen at any time, it will be a game changer in the sense that North Korea can develop and deploy nuclear missiles. tactics,” Park said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

KCNA said the launch, guided by the General Administration of Missiles, was conducted under an “emergency fire-fighting readiness order” given at dawn, followed by Kim Jong Un’s written order at dawn. 8am local time (23:00 GMT Friday). South Korea’s military said it detected the missile at 5:22 p.m. (08:22 GMT)

“What’s important here is that the exercise is carried out daily with no advance warning to the sailors,” said Ankit Panda, a missile expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, based in Washington. participating team. “The time between order and launch is likely to decrease with additional testing.”

KCNA said the military unit had obtained “excellent marks” in the exercise and that the North’s ruling party “appreciated the actual war capabilities of the ICBM units that are ready to maneuver and counterattack strongly.” .

Analysts say North Korea is likely to conduct more weapons tests, including a new solid-fuel missile that could help Pyongyang deploy missiles more quickly in the event of war.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs are banned under UN Security Council resolutions, but Pyongyang says its weapons development is necessary to counter “the hostile policy” of Washington and its allies.

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