N. Korea fired new ICBM Thursday: KCNA

SEOUL (Jiji Press) — North Korea conducted a test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile Thursday under the order of leader Kim Jong Un, the country’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Friday.

The country said it launched from Pyongyang the Hwasong-17 missile, which Japanese, U.S. and South Korean authorities have detected.

Kim on Wednesday signed the order for the test launch and attended the launch in person, according to the KCNA.

The state-run outlet said the test was a success, demonstrating that the weapon system fully met the design requirements and proving its operational reliability in a wartime environment.

Kim was quoted as saying that North Korea will thoroughly prepare for a long-term confrontation with U.S. imperialism, and that his country’s strategic force is prepared to prevent and deter U.S. military threats.

He added that the emergence of the new strategic weapon will demonstrate the country’s power to the entire world and that the strategic choice and determination of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea and the government to continuously strengthen the country’s nuclear war deterrence capability are steadfast, according to the KCNA.

A photograph released by the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the party, showed the missile fired from a large mobile launch pad with 11 axles.

The missile is believed to be the same as a new ICBM unveiled in October 2020.

The KCNA said that the development of a new ICBM was a top priority for Kim.

The news agency said that Thursday’s missile traveled 1,090 kilometers and reached a maximum altitude of 6,248.5 kms in a flight that lasted 4,052 seconds, or about 68 minutes. The figures roughly matched those released by Japan and South Korea.