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North Korea vows to develop more powerful means of attack

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – North Korea said Monday that leader Kim Jong Un has vowed to develop more powerful means of attack, days after the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missile launch. this for more than 4 years.

The statement suggests North Korea could carry out additional launches or even test a nuclear device shortly after it pushes to modernize its arsenal and ramps up pressure on the Biden administration. while nuclear diplomacy remained stalled. Last Thursday, North Korea carried out its 12th round of weapons tests this year, launching a newly developed long-range Hwasong-17 missile, which analysts say is designed to reach anywhere. on the mainland United States.

During a photo session with scientists and others involved in the Hwasong-17 test, Kim expressed his determination to build up the country’s strike capability to deal with threats, according to the news agency. Central Korea.

“Only when equipped with formidable offensive capabilities and unstoppable military power can one prevent a war, ensure the security of the country, and prevent it from occurring. and control all threats and blackmail from the imperialists,” KCNA quoted Kim as saying.

Kim said North Korea would develop more “stronger means of attack”, expressing his belief and expectation that his country would “more strongly perfect its nuclear war deterrent capability”. water,” KCNA said.

North Korea said the Hwasong-17 flew to a maximum altitude of 6,248 km and traveled 1,090 km in a 67-minute flight before landing in the sea between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Outside experts say if the missile were fired on a standard trajectory, flatter than the steep test angle, it could fly as far as 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles), enough to reach anywhere in the mainland United States and further.

Said to be about 25 meters long, the Hwasong-17 is North Korea’s longest-range weapon and, by some estimates, the world’s largest road-mobile ballistic missile system. Its size suggests the missile can carry multiple nuclear warheads, given that North Korea already has a single-warhead ICBM that can hit most of the United States.

The US-led foreign policy of persuading North Korea to denuclearize in return for economic and political benefits has largely stalled since 2019. The Biden administration has urged North Korea to return to talks. negotiations without any preconditions, but Pyongyang has responded that Washington must give up its hostility first and has taken steps to expand its arsenal.

Some experts suggest that Kim could soon conduct another ICBM launch, launch a satellite-carrying missile or test a nuclear device as he strives to perfect his weapons technology, putting pressure on United States and ensure stronger internal power.

On Monday, South Korea reiterated its previous assessment that there are signs that North Korea is restoring previously destroyed tunnels at its underground nuclear test site. Lee Jong-joo, a spokesman for Seoul’s Unification Ministry, said that a North Korean nuclear test would pose a “serious threat” to international security and that North Korea must stop any related behavior. authorities immediately and return to negotiations.

The Hwasong-17 takeoff was North Korea’s most serious weapons launch since the country tested a previously developed ICBM in November 2017. The last nuclear test, the sixth, was in September 2017.

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