North Korea has confirmed test-firing its biggest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on the orders of leader Kim Jong Un to boost its defenses and prepare for a “long confrontation” with the United States.
“The emergence of the new strategic weapon of the DPRK would make the whole world clearly aware of the power of our strategic armed forces once again,” Kim said.
“Any forces should be made to be well aware of the fact that they will have to pay a very dear price before daring to attempt to infringe upon the security of our country,” he added.
According to North Korea’s state media, the weapon was launched from Pyongyang International Airport, traveled up to a maximum altitude of 6,248 km (3,880 miles), and flew a distance of 1,090 km (680 miles) during a 67-minute flight before falling into the Sea of Japan.
The UN Security Council would hold an emergency meeting on the test on Friday, but condemnation or new sanctions could be hard to achieve amid divisions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Russia’s veto.
On Thursday, Washington announced new sanctions concerning North Korea’s illicit weapons program, targeting two Russian companies, a Russian and a North Korean, and North Korea’s Second Academy of Natural Science Foreign Affairs Bureau.
Meanwhile, state media called the successful test a “striking demonstration of great military muscle”, while Kim said it was a “miraculous” and “priceless” victory by the Korean people.
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