Nov 19, 2022 09:07 UTC
  •  Kim warns to ‘react with nuclear weapons’ to threats; US redeploys bomber for drills

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has firmly warned to respond to US threats with nuclear weapons amid Washington’s ramped-up military activities in the region, including joint exercises with Seoul and Tokyo.

North Korea's official news agency KCNA said on Saturday that Kim made the warning after he personally oversaw Pyongyang's latest launch of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which flew some 1,000 kilometers before falling in waters in the East Sea, also known as Sea of Japan.

Kim censured US’ joint exercises with Japan and South Korea as "hysteric aggression war drills" and was quoted by the KCNA as saying that if Washington continues to make threats against the North, Pyongyang “will resolutely react to nukes with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with all-out confrontation.”

North Korea on Friday fired its newest intercontinental ballistic missile the Hwasong-17, dubbed the "monster missile" by analysts, with South Korea and Japan saying they suspect the long-range missile was designed to strike the mainland US.

KCNA said the launch of the "new-type ICBM" was successful, adding that the "test-fire clearly proved the reliability of the new major strategic weapon system.”

The launch showed that "the nuclear forces of the DPRK have secured another reliable and maximum capacity to contain any nuclear threat," the state news agency underlined, using the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Kim oversaw the test of Pyongyang's ICBM with his daughter in tow for the first time, with KCNA reporting that the presence of the country's first family provided "greater strength and courage in the dynamic advance for bolstering up the state nuclear strategic forces.”

The launch came a day after North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile as Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui warned that Pyongyang would take "fiercer" military action if the US further enhanced its "extended" military aid to the regional allies.