Kim Jong-un launches ICBM in an effort to'strike fear into the enemies'
North Korea stated that it must "strike fear into its enemies" in order to "deter war" after its latest long-range missile testing.
Kim Jong-un, North Korean leader, said that his country must show its strength to "deter war" following the latest long-range missile test. He claimed it was a response against the ongoing "reckless” US-led war games.
Kim personally oversaw the test of a Hwasong-17 intercontinental missile (ICBM), and said that the launch proved again the "operating system of the nuclear strategic forces."
According to KCNA, the leader "stressed that it was necessary to strike fear into the enemy, really deter war, and reliably guarantee peace and the struggle for socialist construction by irreversibly bolstering the nuclear war deterrent." KCNA also cited that Washington and Seoul are "open hostilities towards the DPRK" through "reckless" military drills on Korea's Peninsula.
Thursday's ICBM-launch marked North Korea's third major weapon test this week. It was performed as the US is leading a large round of exercises with South Korea. The drills, called "Freedom Shield", began Monday and will continue through next week. Officials claim that they are the largest joint drills the allies have held in five years. They include both live-fire and simulated elements.
Pyongyang continued to denounce the exercises, calling them "provocative" and aggressive. It has repeatedly stated that it regards such military activity as preparation for an invasion. It expressed hopes that the ICBM test would send a "stronger warning to the enemies deliberately escalating tension in the Korean Peninsula," while Kim pledged to "react to nukes and frontal confrontation in type."
The launch of the missile came as South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol was about to travel to Japan to meet Prime Minister Fumio Kishhida. They were planning to discuss a security partnership between Washington and Japan. The three-way agreement is intended to counter alleged "threats” from North Korea or China. Yoon instructed the South Korean military not to stop joint drills with the US and warned Pyongyang that it would be punished for its "reckless provocations."
Later, the US "strongly" condemned ICBM testing. Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, stated that while the US and its allies were not at risk, the test "needlessly raised tensions and could destabilize the security situation in the region."guest