North Korea successfully tests new ICBM, Kim vows nuclear defense

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This image, released on March 25 by the North Korean Official News Service, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un overseeing the test launch of a new type of Hwasong-17 intercontinental ballistic missile. File photo by KCNA/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 19 (UPI) — North Korea said Saturday it has successfully test-fired a new intercontinental ballistic missile as leader Kim Jong Un vowed that any nuclear threats would be met with nuclear weapons.

Kim vowed that “if the enemies continue to pose threats … our party and government will resolutely react to nukes with nuclear weapons and to total confrontation with all-out confrontation,” the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

The Hwasong-17 missile flew for 1 hour and 9 minutes, and traveled 999.2 kilometers at a maximum altitude of 6,040.9 km, KCNA said.

Kim said the test came in response to threats from the United States and its allies, who are pursing what he called a hostile “extended deterrence” policy covering South Korea and Japan.

The more the Western allies extend their war exercises, the more offensive North Korea’s military counteraction will be, KCNA reported Kim as saying.

The launch is also notable because it featured Kim with his daughter. It is the first time she has been seen in public, ending speculation about her existence.

Following the missile test, Japan and South Korea held separate air drills with the United States. On Saturday, South Korea and American militaries flew bombers over the Korean Peninsula, Kyodo News reported.

The bombers also conducted a joint drill with F-2 fighter jets of Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force northwest of the Japanese island of Kyushu, according to the Japanese Defense Ministry.

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