North Korea says it has tested a huge new ICBM

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s latest launch was a huge new ICBM, state media reported Friday, in a test said leader Kim Jong Un designed to demonstrate the power of its nuclear power and deter any US military emotional.

It was the first full ICBM test by nuclear-armed North Korea since 2017, and flight data showed the missile flew higher and longer than any of North Korea’s previous tests before crashing into the sea west of Japan.

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The ICBM, named Hwasong-17, is the largest liquid-propelled missile ever launched by a country from a mobile launch vehicle system, according to analysts.

Kim ordered the test because of the “daily escalating military tensions in and around the Korean Peninsula” and the “inevitability of a longstanding confrontation with US imperialists, accompanied by the threat of nuclear war,” state news agency KCNA reported.

“DPRK’s strategic forces are fully prepared to thoroughly contain and contain any dangerous military attempts by the US imperialists,” Kim said while personally overseeing the launch, according to KCNA. DPRK are the initials of North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea’s return to major weapons tests that could potentially hit the United States poses a direct challenge to US President Joe Biden as he responds to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And it raises the prospect of a new crisis following the election of a new, conservative South Korean government that has promised a tougher military strategy against Pyongyang.

South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, who is set to speak with Chinese President Xi Jinping later on Friday, said North Korea had nothing to gain from a provocation. China is North Korea’s neighbor and only major ally.

The launch was condemned by political leaders in the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Responding to North Korea’s banned ICBM launch by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will be far more difficult now than it was after the last test in 2017.

World powers in the council are currently at odds over the Ukraine war, making the sort of sanctions the UN Security Council imposed on North Korea after the 2017 test a far more complicated process.

The UN Security Council will meet publicly at 3 p.m. Friday to discuss the launch. On Thursday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Pyongyang to “refrain from any further counterproductive measures”.

On Thursday, the US State Department announced sanctions against two Russian companies, one Russian and one North Korean, and the field office of North Korea’s Second Academy of Sciences for leaking sensitive items to North Korea’s missile program.

It named the Russian companies as Ardis Group of Companies LLC (Ardis Group) and PFK Profpodshipnik LLC and the Russian person as Igor Aleksandrovich Michurin. It named the North Korean Ri Sung Chol.

“These actions are part of our ongoing efforts to impede the DPRK’s ability to advance its missile program and underscore the negative role Russia plays as a propagator of programs of concern on the world stage,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement Explanation.

Photos released by state media showed a massive missile, painted black with a white nose cone, rising atop a launch vehicle’s pillar of flame.

The Hwasong-17 flew 1,090 km (681 miles) to a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 km (3,905 miles) and accurately hit a target in the sea, KCNA reported. These figures are similar to data reported by Japan and South Korea.

KCNA called the successful test a “conspicuous display of great military prowess,” while Kim said it was a “miraculous” and “priceless” victory by the Korean people.

North Korea first unveiled the previously unseen ICBM at an unprecedented predawn military parade in October 2020, with analysts noting that it appeared “considerably larger” than North Korea’s last new ICBM, the Hwasong-15, which was tested in November 2017.

It was displayed a second time at a defense exhibition in Pyongyang in October 2021.

Officials in Seoul and Washington have previously said launches on February 27 and March 5 affected parts of the Hwasong-17 ICBM system, likely in preparation for conducting a full test like Thursday’s.

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