North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un vowed to boost his country’s nuclear capability Thursday, one day after the country successfully launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile.
Kim observed the successful submarine-launched missile on Wednesday as it flew east into the sea. North Korea’s military now says it will increase weapons testing in the coming months, with Kim claiming his regime “is being seriously threatened by the hostile forces every moment.”
“[Kim] clarified again that there will be no change and vacillation in the strategic line and policy of [the North Korean] government to steadily accelerate the development of more developed, effective and reliable weapon system,” the country’s state-run media wrote Thursday.
According to the South Korean military, Kim’s new missile flew for 74 minutes and traveled a distance of some 622 miles before landing in the sea off the Korean coastline. That measure doesn’t offer a complete picture of the missile’s capabilities, however, as North Korea often launches missiles at a steep vertical trajectory to avoid airspace of neighboring countries. Analysts say the missile traveled to an altitude of roughly 4,130 miles.
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Kim’s regime has blasted the U.S. and South Korea for recent aerial missions the North says infringed on its territory.
“This month alone, RC-135, U-2S and RQ-4B, strategic reconnaissance planes and reconnaissance drone belonging to the U.S. Air Force, flew over the East and West seas of Korea in turn for eight straight days from July 2 to 9 to conduct provocative aerial espionage on the DPRK’s strategic interior,” the regime said in a statement shared through state media.
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The United Nations Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the threat posed by North Korea’s missile launches. The meeting, requested by the U.S., U.K. and other allies, is largely symbolic, however, as veto-wielding members China and Russia are likely to stop any effort to impose consequences for the regime.
North Korea has conducted roughly 100 missile tests since January 2022, with varying levels of success.
Fox News’ Sarah Rumpf-Whitten and The Associated Press contributed to this report.