A man walks past a television report showing a news broadcast with file footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
In Photos: Kim Jong Un Oversees As North Korea Test Fires New ICBM Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Kim Jong-un says North Korea will continue to develop more powerful means of attack suggesting it might soon perform more ballistic missile launches. On Monday, the North Korean state media KCNA published the leader’s statement as he visited military personnel during the test launch operation of a new type of inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), said to be the country’s biggest missile test since its first launch test in 2017.

According to Al Jazeera, Kim’s meeting involved officials, technicians, scientists, and workers who worked on the launch last Thursday. Kim also suggested the possibility of testing a nuclear device in its efforts to modernize and beef up the country’s military arsenal.

The Hwasong -17, is North Korea’s newly developed long-range ballistic missile that had its 12th round of testing last week. Analysts say it has the potential to deliver a nuclear warhead anywhere in the United States. Kim emphasized the new ICBM aims to deter any military moves by the United States as it has poised itself technically at war with North Korea after it ended the Korean War in an armistice in place of a peace agreement.

During the photo session with his military officials, Kim told state reporters he was intent on building the country’s defenses and attack capabilities to cope with any threats from the west. The state-run news channel presented the launch of Kim's newest arsenal that gave North Koreans a 15-minute Hollywood-style video with stirring music and staged drama, showing the leader whipping off his dark glasses as he looked directly into the camera. He strode alongside his generals as they walked out of the hangar with the ICBM missile in the background with social media posts saying the newest propaganda video can be likened to the movie "Top Gun."

“Only when one is equipped with the formidable striking capabilities, overwhelming military power that cannot be stopped by anyone, one can prevent a war, guarantee the security of the country and contain and put under control all threats and blackmails by the imperialists,” KCNA quoted Kim.

The leader added that North Korea will vigorously perfect its nuclear war deterrence. The Hwasong -17 flew to a maximum altitude of 6,248 km and traveled 1,090 km in a 67-minute flight before hitting the waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. Outside experts say if the ICBM was fired on a standard trajectory, it could reach as far as the US mainland and beyond.

Meanwhile, Washington is pressuring Pyongyang to surrender or reduce its arsenal of nuclear weapons and ICBMs in return for economic and political benefits, after these had been stalled since 2019. The United States has urged Pyongyang to return to talks without any conditions on the table, however, North Korea responded by demanding that Washington must drop its hostility first while the North Korean leader works on expanding his military arsenal.

Students of the Pyongyang Jang Chol Gu University of Commerce look at the Rodong Sinmun newspaper
In this photo taken in Pyongyang on March 25, 2022, students of the Pyongyang Jang Chol Gu University of Commerce look at the Rodong Sinmun newspaper containing news of the previous day's launch of the Hwasong-17 missile – Pyongyang's first ICBM test since 2017. Photo by Kim Won Jin/AFP via Getty Images

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