North Korea’s Kim brings daughter to supervise check of suspected Hwasong-17 ICBM

North Korean chief Kim Jong Un oversaw a check of Pyongyang’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile together with his daughter in tow for the primary time, state media reported Saturday.

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Declaring that he would meet perceived US nuclear threats together with his personal nuclear weapons, Kim oversaw the launch on Friday of the black-and-white missile, which the official Korean Central Information Company (KCNA) mentioned was the Hwasong-17 – dubbed the “monster missile” by analysts.

The launch was profitable, KCNA mentioned, including that “the test fire clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapon system”.

KCNA mentioned Kim attended the launch “together with his beloved daughter and wife,” and state media pictures confirmed a beaming Kim accompanied by a younger lady in a puffer jacket and pink sneakers as he walked in entrance of the missile.

Pyongyang’s state media has by no means talked about Kim’s kids, and this was the primary official affirmation that he had a daughter, specialists mentioned.

The most recent launch reveals that “Dark’s nuclear forces have secured another reliable and maximum capability to contain all nuclear threats,” KCNA mentioned, utilizing the nation’s official identify, the Democratic Individuals’s Republic of Korea.

Since Kim declared North Korea an “irreversible” nuclear state in September, Washington has stepped up regional safety cooperation, together with its largest-ever joint air drills with South Korea.

The South Korean navy mentioned it performed joint air workout routines with the US on Saturday involving the US B-1B long-range bomber – which was deployed to the Korean Peninsula for a separate joint train earlier this month.

Daughter’s debut

Kim criticized what he known as “hysterical aggression war drills” and mentioned that if America continued to threaten the North, Pyongyang would “resolutely respond to nuclear weapons with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with total confrontation,” KCNA reported.

North Korea has carried out a report blitz of launches in latest weeks, which Pyongyang — and Moscow — have repeatedly blamed on U.S. strikes to bolster the safety it presents allies Seoul and Tokyo.

The presence of the nation’s first household offered “greater strength and courage in the dynamic progress of strengthening the state’s nuclear power strategies,” KCNA reported.

KCNA mentioned the missile hit a most altitude of 6,040.9 kilometers (3,750 miles) and flew 999.2 kilometers, matching estimates from Seoul and Tokyo on Friday.

North Korea has beforehand claimed to have fired a Hwasong-17 – its strongest missile so far – on March 24, releasing a slick promotional video and pictures of the occasion.

However Seoul later solid doubt on that declare, with native stories suggesting that the Hwasong-17 had exploded over Pyongyang’s skies on March 17 and that the North had faked a profitable launch with a smaller, older missile.

This time, analysts mentioned it appeared the North had succeeded.

“This launch is significant because it is believed to be the first successful full flight test of the Hwasong-17 ICBM,” Joseph Dempsey, a researcher on the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research (IISS), advised AFP.

As with all North Korean ICBM assessments, the missile was fired on an “elevated” trajectory — up, not out, to keep away from flying over Japan — that means key questions stay — “particularly about surviving atmospheric re-entry and testing accuracy over larger range,” he mentioned.

The “monster missile,” whereas doubtless having better payload capability, additionally has drawbacks, Dempsey mentioned.

“Its sheer size makes it less practical as a road-mobile system, and production would likely be a significantly greater strain on limited resources,” he mentioned.

The UN Safety Council mentioned on Saturday it will talk about the nuclear-armed nation at a gathering on Monday.

The following technology of Kims

North Korea has launched scores of ballistic missiles this yr, way over any yr earlier than.

Current launches have develop into more and more provocative, together with the firing of a missile over Japan final month, which triggered a uncommon air strike warning.

On Nov. 2, Pyongyang fired 23 missiles, together with one which crossed the de facto maritime border and landed close to the South’s territorial waters for the primary time for the reason that finish of hostilities within the Korean Conflict in 1953. Seoul known as it “effectively a territorial invasion.” .

The following day, North Korea fired an ICBM — although Seoul mentioned it appeared to fail mid-flight.

Probably the most vital takeaway from Friday’s ICBM launch is “the persistence of the Kim regime’s weapons program, because it is so integral to Kim’s own survival and the continuity of his family’s reign,” Soo Kim, a former CIA analyst now with the RAND Company, mentioned to AFP.

With state media protection, “we have seen the fourth generation of the Kim family with our own eyes. And his daughter – along with potential other siblings – will certainly be cared for by her father,” she mentioned.


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