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ICBM launch serves as warning to US, South Korea over drills: DPRK

North Korea has launched its largest Hwasong-17 intercontinental
ballistic missile (ICBM), fired during a drill to demonstrate a
“tough response posture” to ongoing US-South Korea military
drills, state media reported.

Photos released on Friday by the country’s government media
showed Kim Jong-un watching Thursday’s launch with his daughter and
included pictures from space apparently shot by a camera mounted
on the missile.

North Korea fired the ICBM into the sea between the Korean
peninsula and Japan, hours before South Korea’s
president flew to Tokyo for a summit that discussed ways to
counter the nuclear-armed North.

“The launching drill of the strategic weapon serves as an
occasion to give a stronger warning to the enemies intentionally
escalating the tension in the Korean peninsula while
persistently resorting to irresponsible and reckless military
threats,” state news agency KCNA said.

The North’s ballistic missiles are banned under United
Nations Security Council resolutions and the launch drew
condemnation from governments in Seoul, Washington and Tokyo.

READ MORE: US, South Korea to hold largest field exercises in five years

US-South Korea military drills 

South Korean and American forces began 11 days of joint
drills, dubbed “Freedom Shield 23,” on Monday, held on a scale
not seen since 2017 to counter the North’s growing threats.

Kim accused the United States and South Korea of increasing
tensions with the military drills.

He “stressed the need to strike fear into the enemies,
really deter war and reliably guarantee the peaceful life of our
people and their struggle for socialist construction by
irreversibly bolstering up the nuclear war deterrent,” KCNA

China, which has a defence pact with North Korea, also
blamed the United States for the current tensions, saying they
are caused by Washington’s efforts to increase pressure on

The Hwasong-17 is North Korea’s biggest missile yet and is
the largest road-mobile, liquid-fuelled ICBM in the world.

It is believed to have the range to potentially deliver a
nuclear warhead to targets anywhere in the United States.

The missile was launched from Pyongyang’s airport and KCNA said it travelled up to a maximum altitude of 6,045 km and flew a distance of 1,000 km for just over 69 minutes, before falling into the open sea. 

The launch did not pose a safety threat to any neighbouring countries, the report said.

READ MORE: North Korea demands the UN put an end to S.Korea-USA military drills

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