Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

North Korea's Kim orders new ICBM, bigger nuclear arsenal amid tension

Published 12/31/2022, 03:03 PM
Updated 01/01/2023, 07:25 AM

By Hyonhee Shin and Joyce Lee

SEOUL (Reuters) -North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles and a larger nuclear arsenal to counter U.S.-led threats, state media said on Sunday, amid flaring tension between the rival Koreas.

At a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party, Kim highlighted the need to secure "overwhelming military power" to defend its sovereignty and security.

The meeting came amid cross-border tensions over last week's intrusion by North Korean drones into the South, and the North's series of missile launches, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol, during phone calls with military chiefs, called for "solid mental readiness and practical training" to ensure any North Korean provocations will be met with retaliation, according to a statement from his office.

Kim accused Washington and Seoul of trying to "isolate and stifle" Pyongyang with U.S. nuclear strike assets constantly deployed in South Korea, calling it "unprecedented in human history."

He vowed to develop another ICBM system "whose main mission is quick nuclear counter-strike" under a plan to bolster the country's nuclear force, the official KCNA news agency said.

"The prevailing situation calls for making redoubled efforts to overwhelmingly beef up the military muscle ... in response to the worrying military moves by the U.S. and other hostile forces," it said.

South Korea has become "our undoubted enemy" being "hell-bent on imprudent and dangerous arms buildup" and hostile military moves, Kim said.

"It highlights the importance and necessity of a mass-producing of tactical nuclear weapons and calls for an exponential increase of the country's nuclear arsenal," Kim said, adding these would be a "main orientation" of the 2023 nuclear and defence strategy.

As part of the plan, the country will also launch its first military satellite "at the earliest date possible" by accelerating its drive to build a spy satellite, with preparations in the final stage, KCNA said.

'SUPER-LARGE ROCKET LAUNCHER'

The report came hours after North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile off its east coast, in a rare late-night, New Year's Day weapons test.

The isolated country also launched three ballistic missiles on Saturday, capping a year marked by a record number of missile tests.

KCNA said in a separate dispatch that it was testing a new 600 mm super-large multiple rocket launcher capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

Kim lauded the munitions industry for delivering 30 units of the system, calling it a "core, offensive weapon" with all of South Korea within its range, and an ability to conduct a surprise and precision launch.

"We have declared our resolute will to respond with nuke for nuke and an all-out confrontation for an all-out confrontation," Kim told a delivery ceremony on Saturday, ordering more powerful weapons to "absolutely overwhelm the U.S. imperialist aggressive forces and their puppet army."

Inter-Korean ties have long been testy but have grown even more tense since Yoon took office in May pledging a tougher line against Pyongyang.

The recent drone intrusion rekindled criticism over South Korea's air defences, and Yoon on Sunday again urged the military to stand ready to retaliate.

"Our military must resolutely retaliate against any provocation by the enemy with the determination to fight," Yoon told the military chiefs.

The latest missile flew about 400 kilometres (249 miles)after being fired around 2:50 a.m. local time (1750 GMT) from the Ryongsong area of the capital Pyongyang, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said.

The JCS strongly condemned the North's series of missile tests as "grave provocations" and urged an immediate halt.

Japan's coast guard said the missile reached an altitude of around 100 km and flew around 350 km. Defence Minister Yasukazu Hamada said Tokyo had protested to North Korea over the launch via diplomatic channels in Beijing.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said the launch did not pose an immediate threat to U.S. personnel or territory but highlighted the destabilising impact of North Korea's weapons programme.

© Reuters. North Korean leader leader Kim Jong Un attends the 12th Meeting of the Political Bureau of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), in Pyongyang, North Korea, in this photo released on December 31, 2022 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).   KCNA via REUTERS

North Korea fired an unprecedented number of missiles in 2022, pressing on with weapons development amid speculation it could test a nuclear weapon for a seventh time.

In November, the North also resumed testing ICBMs for the first time since 2017, successfully launching the massive new Hwasong-17, potentially able to strike anywhere in the United States.

Latest comments

How would US feel if North Korea and Cuba were taking part in military exercises in the Gulf of Mexico?
There is no moral equivalence between your hypothetical presence of a military directed by a totalitarian dictator, unelected and oppressing a people with no regard for human rights on the shores of the worlds largest free nation and the USA participating with allies in the defense of free people in legitimate democracies.
A result of the Biden administration and Democrats great global diplomacy. Never has the world been so close to another world war than since they took power. And their followers are to naive to see how they have alienated and marginalized the west from the majority of the world’s population.
It doesn't take a genius to realize that if a NK nuclear strike is inevitable then we should be the ones to strike first. The American military is obviously considering this to get it over with. Good luck everyone
the poor baby needs attention periodically! give him a bottle and change his diaper, please!
Weak American president encourages scoundrels to be aggressive. That's why Xi flies into Taiwan airspace, Kim makes noise and why Putin invaded Ukraine.
Enemy propaganda
The lib_tards here can only insult with any coherent logic in response.
without
Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.