North Korea says it fired ICBMs to warn US and South Korea about drills

SEOUL — North Korea said Thursday’s launch was the largest Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) during a drill to show a “tough response” to ongoing U.S.-South Korea military exercises, state media said. reported.

A photo released by North Korean state media on Friday shows Kim Jong-un watching the launch with his daughter and includes a photo from space believed to have been taken by a camera attached to the missile. rice field.

North Korea launched an ICBM into the sea between the Korean peninsula and Japan on Thursday, hours before the South Korean president flew to Tokyo for a summit to discuss ways to counter a nuclear-armed North Korea.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, “Strategic weapons training is an opportunity to deliberately heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula and issue a stronger warning to the enemy who continues to make irresponsible and reckless military threats. It happened,” he said.

North Korea’s ballistic missiles are banned under UN Security Council resolutions, and the launch drew condemnation from the governments of Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.

South Korean and American forces began an 11-day joint exercise dubbed “Freedom Shield 23” on Monday, held on a scale not seen since 2017 to counter the growing threat from North Korea.

Kim accused the United States and South Korea of ​​heightening tensions with military exercises.

He said, “By irreversibly strengthening the deterrence of nuclear war, we need to instill fear in the enemy, truly deter war, and ensure the peaceful life of our people and the struggle for socialist construction. emphasized sexuality,” reported KCNA.

China, which has a defense pact with North Korea, also blamed the current tensions on the United States.

The Hwasong-17 is North Korea’s largest missile to date and the world’s largest road-mobile liquid-fueled ICBM.

It is believed that a nuclear warhead could be delivered anywhere in the United States.

The missile, launched from Pyongyang’s airport, flew to a maximum altitude of 6,045 kilometers (3,756 miles) and flew 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) for just over 69 minutes before falling into the open sea, KCNA said. The launch posed no security threats to neighboring countries, according to reports.