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Kim Jong Un calls North Korea's new nuclear missiles the 'world's strongest strategic weapon'

Kim Jong Un calls North Koreas new nuclear missiles the worlds strongest strategic weapon
North Korean leader announces his country's intentions during the launch of its largest ballistic missile, which scientists vow will fly in the direction indicated by Kim Jong Un.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says his country's ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful nuclear force at the launch of his country's largest ballistic missile.

Key points:
  • Kim Jong Un says the nuclear force is for reliably protecting the sovereignty of North Korea
  • He calls the Hwasong-17 the "world's strongest strategic weapon"
  • Scientists vow the missiles will fly in whatever direction ordered

The announcement comes after Mr Kim inspected a test of the country's new Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and pledged to counter US nuclear threats with nuclear weapons.

He said building the nuclear force was for reliably protecting the dignity and sovereignty of the state and its people.

"Its ultimate goal is to possess the world's most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century," he said. 

He called the Hwasong-17 the "world's strongest strategic weapon" and said it demonstrated North Korea's ability to eventually build the world's strongest army.

Mr Kim said North Korean scientists have made a "wonderful leap forward in the development of the technology of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles". 

Posing for photos with the scientists, engineers, military officials and others involved in the test, Mr Kim said he expected them to continue to expand and strengthen the country's nuclear deterrent.

Those workers issued an oath of allegiance and faith to the ruling party, vowing to defend the "absolute authority" of the party and Mr Kim. 

Kim Jung Un and his daughter standing between ten soldiers in front of a missile
Scientists have vowed to defend the "absolute authority" of the party and Mr Kim. (Reuters: KCNA)

They vowed the "missiles will fly vigorously only in the direction indicated" by Mr Kim.

The missile launch prompted the United States to call for a United Nations Security Council presidential statement to hold North Korea accountable for its missile tests, which are banned by Security Council resolutions.

North Korea's powerful Standing Committee of the Supreme People's Assembly awarded the Hwasong-17 missile the title of "DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) Hero and Gold Star Medal and Order of National Flag 1st Class",  state media KCNA reported.

"[The missile] clearly proved before the world that the DPRK is a fully fledged nuclear power, capable of standing against the nuclear supremacy of the US imperialists and fully demonstrated its might as the most powerful ICBM state," KCNA said.

Its test fire demonstrated that North Korea would react, in kind, to "the enemy's [nuclear] and full-frontal confrontation", the report said.

Reuters

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