Kim Jong-un launches latest North Korean missile to 'strike fear' into enemies
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Featured Image Credit: KCNA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/EyePress News/Shutterstock
Kim Jong-un has claimed that North Korea’s most recent missile launch was designed to ‘strike fear into the enemies’ of his country.
The hermit nation’s leader turned up to watch the latest test that his country conducted, during which an intercontinental missile was fired thousands of miles up into the air before crashing back down into the sea.
The context for this latest test – as well as Kim’s comments – seems to be that the US and South Korea are currently conducting operations together that are of a larger scale than seen in recent times.
What’s more, South Korea and Japan have just entered an agreement to work together more closely with the USA on defence in the region.
That conversation between the two leaders of those Asian countries happened just hours after the launch.
North Korea’s state news agency, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), told how the North Korean leader supervised the missile test himself with the Hwasong-17 rocket fired up into space, reaching a maximum altitude of 6,045 kilometres and travelling 621 miles.
The news agency said that the ‘open hostility’ showing to the North by the US and South Korea means that the missile test was important to ‘strike fear into the enemies’.
The missile itself was launched at a high angle so that it did not impinge on other country’s territory, landing in the sea off the eastern coast.
South Korea and Japan were watching carefully, though, and they have ascertained that the US mainland could well be in range from missiles such as these.
However, it’s not clear whether North Korea currently has developed the technology to get nuclear warheads that are small enough to fit on these rockets, or whether they’ve got the technology to ensure those warheads can survive atmospheric re-entry when fired at a trajectory that could take it outside their own airspace.
Photographs were published that showed the North Korean leader watching the missile blasting off, accompanied by a girl who many believe to be his daughter.
Kim’s daughter is believed to be 10-years-old and called Kim Ju Ae.
The girl has been spotted at several military events and was publicly revealed for the first time at another intercontinental ballistic missile launch in November.
Some have even speculated that she is being prepared to take over from her father as leader of the nation.
Photographs were also published that purportedly show the Korean Peninsula and the Asian coastline from space from the missile.
It could be that these images are intended to show that the missile would be capable of hitting a target if pointed in the correct direction.
The news agency added that the latest test sends a ‘stronger warning’ to North Korea’s antagonists, who they claim are creating heightened tension with ‘frantic, provocative and aggressive large-scale war drills’.
Kim said that North Korea must be ready to attack rivals with ‘overwhelming offensive measures anytime’ as well as making them aware that their military actions could ‘bring an irreversible, grave threat to them’, KCNA said.