North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has said his country aspires to the world’s most powerful nuclear force as he celebrates the launch of its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), state media reported on Sunday.
Kim also promoted more than 100 officials and scientists for their work on the Hwasong 17, which analysts call the “monster missile” and which is expected to reach the mainland United States within days of its test launch.
Hailing the new ICBM as “the world’s most powerful strategic weapon,” Kim said North Korean scientists have made “a marvelous leap in the technological development of mounting nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles,” the official KCNA news agency reported.
Building nuclear force to protect the dignity and sovereignty of the state and the people “is the greatest and most important revolutionary cause, and its goal is to have the most powerful strategic force, the absolute force unprecedented in the century,” Kim declared at the promotion ceremony.
The promoted officials and scientists demonstrated to the world the “goal of building the strongest army in the world,” he added.
The Hwasong 17 launch vehicle was proclaimed “DPRK (North Korea) Hero,” KCNA said in a separate report.
“It clearly demonstrated to the world that the DPRK is a full-fledged nuclear power,” according to the agency.
Hong Min, from the Korea Institute for National Unification, said the celebration of the Hwasong 17 launch is aimed at raising his country’s image as a nuclear power.
“If the 2017 Hwasong 15 focused on becoming the country that can threaten the US soil with nuclear weapons, the new missile aims to become the most powerful state with ballistic missiles,” he said.
– “Unlimited Strengthening” –
Since 2006, the UN Security Council has passed numerous resolutions imposing sanctions against Pyongyang for its missile and nuclear activity.
During a photo op on Saturday with officials and scientists involved in the missile launch, Kim called for “unlimited strengthening of the defensive force,” KCNA said.
Kim urged scientists and workers to “expand and strengthen the nuclear deterrent at an exceptionally fast speed.”
The official Rodong Sinmun daily published numerous photos of Kim with his “beloved daughter”, who appeared for the first time in public pictures during the launch of the ICBM last week.
Until then, the state media had never mentioned Kim’s children. In fact, the week’s post was the first official confirmation that she has a daughter, according to experts.
The footage shows a girl believed to be Kim’s second daughter, Ju Ae, dressed in a black fur coat holding her father’s arm as she passed the giant missile.
Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said the daughter’s presence was meant to portray the Hwasong 17 as “the protector of the future generation.”
“It seems that (Kim) will continue to display her daughter on various occasions and use her as propaganda,” he added.
The ICBM firing on November 18 was the latest in a wave of North Korean missile launches that raised fears in Seoul and Washington that they could lead to a new nuclear test by Pyongyang.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.